December 12, 2006

state education like totally sux

The current State education is bad for those with special needs, the double binds inherent in the system mean that it will always work against the interests of the child if they are not in tune with the interests of the bureaucracy as even writers for the Guardian are now willing to admit openly.
Every child with real educational difficulties has a right to a statement. But there is an inbuilt conflict of interests. It is the local authority that must both assess the need and pay for it. Some meet their obligations, but others delay, ignore and obstruct statements, so thousands of parents struggle to get them. Even those who succeed often find that the reality doesn't match the theory.
That this is seeping into acceptable debate on Planet Guardian is good but I am certain that many, like Polly Toynbee, will have already known and made sure to get their children into the kind of selective school that they have sought to deny others. As by ignoring those in need of more assistance to concentrate on those that are more likely to help them meet their government mandated targets state schools are still unable help the more able. The favorite wheeze of the socialist not wanting to look like a complete hypocrite as they seek to do the best by their own children, while refusing to continence the less fortunate getting the same chance, is by sending them to a faith school.

The Pub Philosopher has unearthed a paper about the reasons that the faith schools so beloved by Tony Blair and crew perform better than the average bog standard comprehensive. And it has nothing to do with faith.
Any benefit of attending a primary Faith school is linked to the more autonomous admission and governance arrangements that characterised ‘Voluntary Aided’ schools during the period covered by our data. Pupils in religiously affiliated schools where admissions were under the control of the Local Education Authority (‘Voluntary Controlled’ schools) do not progress faster than pupils in Secular primary schools.
So why not give every school the kind of power to serve the needs of it's pupils in the best way for that particular set of pupils by setting them free of government control? And why not set he parents free to choose the school that will cater best for the particular needs of their children by letting them apply anywhere and having the funding follow the pupil (by a voucher system, as used in Sweden)? It does not necessarily take more money, it just needs that that money is spent on the needs of the children not the needs of the bureaucrats
While the best performers in the OECD survey were the highest spenders, overall there were no correlation between expenditure and literacy. Rather, the problem is in a system that lumps children of all abilities into one, uniform type of school, prioritises the choices of bureaucrats over those of parents, stifles innovation among teachers creates no incentive for success.


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