October 27, 2005

Johann Hari on faith schools

Johann Hari is talking about Faith School and telling it as it is. They are not a good idea. But New Labour likes them as it allows them to reinstate selection which gives better exam results.
The right-wing think tank Civitas - expected to back faith schools with table-thumping vigour - decided to study the figures, and found something surprising. Faith schools get better results for one simple reason: they use selection to cream off middle-class children - all kids bright and beautiful - and to weed out difficult, poor or unmotivated students who would require more work.
New Labour want statistics that look good, and don't care about the social segregation (and therefore more riots and death) that they course to get them. But things are not all good with these schools
Civitas found that actually - once you factor in the fact they take brighter kids with far fewer problems - it turns out faith schools underperform compared to other schools.
Even with being able to select faith schools are not as good as the schools that they are trying to emulate since they set aside hours each week preaching superstitious drivel when they could be teaching something useful.

The solution is simple and has been known for years. Grammar Schools. Teach kids up to their full potential by selecting for that potential alone. There will naturally be a strong mix of backgrounds from all groups leading to greater understanding (and so less riots) as well as better education and greater social mobility.


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