Saturday, 17 April 2010

What school did you go to? 2

Dai had been shipwrecked and lived alone on a remote desert island for years. When he was eventually found he took his rescuers on a tour of the island. He walked them to the top of an only hill and pointed out the various improvements he had made over the years:

"Here's my farm." he said pointing out over the well cultivated valley, "That's where I keep my goats, and that's my water mill where I grind my corn. And that over there..." he added proudly, pointing at an impressive two story building, "That is my Chapel."

"What's that over there?" asked the Captain of the ship indicating another large building on the hillside.

"Oh that!" sniffed Dai. "That's the chapel I don't go to.

I was reminded of this Old Joke whilst looking at the Tories manifesto and their seemingly move to decentralisation.

The policy seems to be if you don’t like your local school, get together with other parents and open a new one based on your values and taste. Of course we have already seen this with Tony Blair’s promotion of faith school’s. However the whole idea seems to me to be based on an articulate middle class who are interested in their children education. What about those parents who because of their own experience have little interest in their children’s education. Will we have a split between schools with a high input t of parent help and those who will fail, and don’t try to kid me that these schools will not be selective?

Already I believe that the help parents give their children is vital and that school league tables are meaningless without investigating how much help has been given at home or how many pupils had been given private tuition.

As a libertarian Socialist(yes I know to some this sounds a bit of an Oxymoron). I was attracted to the decentralised polices of Plaid Cymru in the 1980’s and was someway prominent in the National Left grouping who worked to establish the principle of decentralised socialism.

To me this means creating opportunity for all children all not just those of parents already who help they children either personally or by financial. That is why the policy of free laptops Plaid proposed in their assembly manifesto was so important. Access to the internet is now vital for children’s advancement especially when it comes to school projects This means whilst I support the idea of more say in our schools we must recognise that we have a duty to see all children have a equal opportunity in life not just our own. Something the Tories policies and Tony Blair’s faith schools will fail to do.

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