Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Tristram and inequality

Tristram Hunt makes some valid points regarding the importance of Sure-Start centres, "high-class technical and vocational education", and "extracurricular activities", as well as the need for less interference from, "a compliance-based inspectorate" (Inequality: a problem schools alone can`t fix,12/01/16). The problem is that he fails to address the fundamental problem in education at the moment, which most certainly is not the lack of "character and resilience" in our schools; the more Hunt rattles on about this, the more evident it becomes that he needs to meet more state educated pupils.
 The major problem which has to be dealt with before the societal problem of inequality can be tackled is the shortage of teachers, which even Ofsted chief, Michael Wilshaw, has described as leading to a "two-tier system", with "one group of schools more able to recruit than another"; not exactly the best platform from which to launch an attack on inequality!

 Of course, Hunt is right to stress that the problem of inequality cannot be solved by schools alone, but until the teachers in the classrooms are rewarded with a significant increase in pay, and have their workloads reduced, all talk of "disadvantage and social mobility" for all is, sadly, pie in the sky. 

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