Thursday, 6 April 2017

School Daze No More

Note that it has taken Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader, and Angela Rayner as Shadow Education Secretary (although I think that Pat Glass would also have done this), to come up with something as basic as the removal the VAT exemption from private school fees in order to provide free school meals for all state primary pupils.

In 13 years, Labour never even did that. Nor did it do so in any of its previous periods in office.

Between this and her position on Ken Livingstone, Angela’s eventual Leadership campaign is off to a flying start, with left and right wings both fully operational.

Of course, one would have to see who the other candidates were. But Angela signed the Teaching Assistants’ petition at last year's Eve of Gala Rally, once I had persuaded them to approach her. She marched them at the Gala itself.

And now this. What next?

Well, in England, the commercial school sector inspects itself.

Therefore, let the condition of a commercial school’s continuing charitable status be its having been adjudged good or better by Ofsted, using the same criteria as for state schools, with the reports published, and with the value-added measure applied, thereby requiring those schools to have demonstrated how they had improved pupils’ abilities.

But know this.

As young Momentum and allied activists of my acquaintance are discovering, schools answerable to right-wing-if-anything local Labour councillors and municipal officers (and that culture has been widely carried over into the new arrangements) would never consider giving a platform to the left-wing figures who were routinely invited to speak at public schools.

Change the councillors, of course, and then have the new ones rein in the officers. But we are living in the meantime.

Still, the future belongs to us.

From the grandest public school of all, boys arranged to meet Vladimir Putin before Theresa May ever did.

Through those institutions, the bonds between the youth of the old English elite and the youth of the new Russian elite are strong, and getting stronger.

Between that and the rise of Corbynism, with certain touring speakers straddling the two (since the latter has the advantage of what are now state schools’ extremely short days as well as their ever-long holidays in which to do all sorts of other things), and with at least one television station linking the whole thing together, the future well and truly belongs to us.

Speaking of those extremely short days, why finish at three o’clock, to do two hours’ homework? Why not finish at five o’clock, then?

Why do several hours of homework per day during the three months that the schools are on holiday? Why not be in school for at least part of that time, then?

Meanwhile, schools are increasingly convinced that they own the evenings, the weekends and the holidays.

I greatly regret the ruling today that 90 per cent attendance is not legally acceptable after all, and I urge people to act as if it still were.

That would leave, say, every Friday afternoon, or every other Friday all day, in which to get an education instead.

Oh, and note that at least an hour of every week’s curriculum time is still given over to sport, as if the people who wished to play it had no other hours in the day, or days in the week, or weeks in the year.

Take yourself off during that, and read a book.

Or even write one.

No comments:

Post a Comment