A ridiculous comparison

• February 5th, 2014 • Posted in All posts

When Michael Gove, The Education Secretary, states his ambition to make state schools indistinguishable from private ones, he is of course saying that they’re not as good.   Politicians sometimes say some fatuous things, but this pretty much hits the jackpot.

What he’s doing in fact is pointing at the teachers who take on the harder job and unfavourably comparing them with the teachers who have it easy.  It’s as if someone set up a hospital which only ever admitted patients who had an excellent chance of recovery, and its higher recovery rates were then held up as evidence that other hospitals were failing.

I went to private schools.  I got good A levels.  My kids went to state schools.  They got good A levels too.  I dare say my old school gets better overall results than their school , but so it bloody well should, seeing as it has an admission process that allows it to pick and choose which pupils it takes, and, except for a few exceptionally able kids who win scholarships, it can only take pupils anyway from the kinds of family who can pay.

I do worry about young Michael’s thinking skills.

4 comments on “A ridiculous comparison”

  1. Tony says:

    I despise them all, and him more than most.

  2. Daniel Franklin says:

    And that’s without taking into account the budgetary differences, allowing for very different teacher/pupil ratios, classroom supplies, equipment, teaching materiel, &c. Is he planning to fund all state pupils to the extent private school pupils are funded? Thought not.

  3. Chris says:

    Yes, I believe private schools spend roughly twice as much per pupil as state schools.

  4. Nick Brooks says:

    You say ‘teachers’ who have it easy, but you might be being a bit generous. I went to a private school, and many, probably most, of the people who taught me there were not qualified teachers, but people who had worked professionally in the areas they were tasked with teaching, or simply chaps who had excelled on the sports field when they were younger – handy on the rugger pitch? Jolly good – you may as well teach English too. Most of them were appalling teachers.

    Fortunately, I left under a cloud and went to my local comprehensive, where the teaching was excellent and where I did very well. The academic decline I had exhibited at the private school due to hopeless teaching and my resulting disengagement (OK, and my innate problem with authority) was reversed. If I’d have stated at Greshams (oh, there, I said it) I would have done very badly, and certainly wouldn’t have gone into science.

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