Tuesday, 24 December 2013

letter 14/01/13

Gaby Hinsliff may see "one nation"Labour as "Ed Milliband`s grand wheeze", but "redressing the balance through progressive taxation" sounds good to me. (This working class pride could be a bonus for Labour, 14/01/13) However, if "sending more working-class kids to university" is to be a viable target, surely Labour has to be more pro-active in its opposition to Gove`s reforms? The Education minister, so far, has had an easy ride, without, it seems, having to debate the consequences of his changes. The totally unnecessary replacement of GCSEs with Ebacc, and the accompanying O-level type examination, will produce a system as divisive as the one last seen in the 50s and 60s. Examinations based on essays and memory, rather than understanding, will prove both discouraging and difficult, and many, especially those from working-class backgrounds, will fail, as planned. The government`s refusal to pilot these examinations is a dead giveaway. Within a few years, we will see a return to schools which specialise in producing good results in the "new" examinations, and schools catering for so-called "less academic" students.Yet opposition to the return of grammar and secondary modern schools is muted, as if equality of opportunity was not an electorally popular issue, as if "level playing fields" were not a matter of concern for the "home counties swing voters" too. 

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