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.