Nick Clegg launches cross-party commission on inequality in education

This morning Nick Clegg launched a cross-party initiative to examine the causes and effects of inequality in education at primary and secondary schools in England and Wales. We know this is a topic close to Nick’s heart and a core theme of the Liberal Democrats’ contribution to the coalition government through the Pupil Premium and free school meals for infants.

Nick Clegg Q&A 12

This follows initial research by the Social Market Foundation revealing regional disparities compounding the known socio-economic disparities, with London doing best and Yorkshire, tragically, doing worst. Sheffield was recently reprimanded by Ofsted over primary school performance, with many other local authorities in the region receiving similar letters, according to the Yorkshire Post.

Speaking at the launch, Nick said

What is now becoming clear is that inequality in education comes in many shapes and sizes. It is not just the relative wealth of parents that holds large numbers of bright kids back: it is postcode inequality too. What part of the country a child grows up in has a real impact on their life chances.

The Social Market Foundation has analysed how well children aged eleven performed over three generations – those born in 1958, 1970 and 2000 – using verbal reasoning tests which could be compared accurately across all three groups.

For the youngest group – those who are in secondary school today – there were stark differences in performance in different regions. Those living in London, the South East and the North West had the highest proportion of high scores. Whereas those living in the North East, Yorkshire and the West Midlands had the highest proportions of poor scores.”

We may live on a small island – but which corner of it our children call home makes a huge difference to their life chances too.

Nick chairs the cross-party commission which includes Suella Fernandes MP (Conservative) and Stephen Kinnock MP (Labour) as well as Rebecca Allen of Education Datalab and Sam Freedman of Teach First. More details here.

* Joe Otten was the candidate for Sheffield Heeley in June 2017, is a councillor in Sheffield and is Tuesday editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in News.
Advert

47 Comments

  • Helen Tedcastle 12th Jan '16 - 1:31pm

    Unconvincing. A panel or ‘cross-party commission’ which does not include any representative from the teaching unions or professional teaching body, but includes someone from Teach First, does not deserve to be taken seriously.

    So some parts of the country are behind others. Please tell us something new.

  • John Marriott

    “what an eclectic mix we have! Time to simplify matters”

    You appear to assume that a mix is a bad thing? If so why? DO you share the view that a mix of sizes of schools is bad and should we standardise sizes of schools? Some counties used to operate the middle schools model, some have separated post 16 education from pre-16, should we standardise this too? How about how far a child has to travel to the local school, size of green space, family income distribution, ethnic make up, etc., etc.?

    How far must standardisation go? Perhaps we could see that everywhere has different circumstances and look to work with that. Also progress comes from experimentation, standardisation isn’t going to give you that.

    You appear to dislike the standardised tests which have pushed standardisation along with the national curriculum (admittedly that was in response to some batty behaviour), and centralise testing has pushed more standardisation. If you can see the risks in this standardisation going too far why the concern about variety in structures?

    “How about bringing back a bit of democratic accountability into our schools?”

    Do we not have some schools with elected parent governors? Or is it only a certain sort of democratic accountability? Does centralised control at county level exclude the need for choice for each child? Worrying about the “democratic accountability” is a massive distraction right now when the need will be to provide dramatically more school places, turf wars between schools and councils is not going to be helpful.

  • Agree with John Marriott about the disparate nature of modern education. It has changed like topsy under a series top down impositions and lack of funding by successive governments.

    Blair contributed to the chaos under the aegis of Andrew Adonis (Labour,SDP, Lib Dem, Labour again and now, who knows ?) …….. after earlier tinkering by Keith Joseph and Kenneth Baker under Thatcher. Adonis succeeded in handing over schools to Carpet millionaires who were given a peerage and an added property portfolio. Add to that the vastly inflated PFI schemes for ‘new’ schools.

    The effect has been to destroy the role of the local education authority in England. We have lost the great L.E.A.’s created by people like Alec Clegg in the old West Riding. In my own time, I remember the great Glynn Harris and his team of (genuine) advisers in Westmorland. Sadly, all has gone for a legacy of dog eat dog philosophy.

    I don’t believe it’s going to happen – but one positive step would be a renaissance of L.E.A.’s with (as John says) democratic accountability, some joined up thinking and inter school co-operation.

  • David Evans 12th Jan '16 - 1:51pm

    Psi, Having been told by an ex school governor that at the end of every meeting, the chair asked the question “now how can we challenge the headteacher?” Then items on the agenda were reopened so that spurious ‘Challenge the head’ questions could be asked (sometimes even prompted by the head!), minuted and so used to evidence they were doing their job (not) shows how toothless most boards of governors are, and pretending that is democratic accountability is a fallacy.

  • David Evans

    I was told by someone on a board of governors in the 90’s that the LEA governors were the least effective members.

    If looking to what will help improve things, viewing the past through rose tinted glasses isn’t very helpful.

  • Lieke Sneep 12th Jan '16 - 2:10pm

    Mr Clegg and the Social Market Foundation think that making those areas more appealing will help fix the problem, particularly by making the pay higher.

    It does not.

    It will either shift the problem (those good teachers have to come from somewhere, which means another location will lose its teachers. That location will then start to get lower scores as well, shifting the postcode inequality to another location — but not actually getting rid of it) or it will only frustrate the teachers in the long run if other measures are not taken, which may result in them leaving again. The pay could be great, but if the overall conditions are poor, most will be delighted to work elsewhere. Most teachers don’t become teachers because of the excellent pay, you see. If you’re not careful, you will have a vicious circle of moving around.

    Other, more pressing factors play a part here:
    – Teachers themselves need to receive a good education.
    Having high quality teachers get their qualification already makes a lot of difference, but you do need to teach them how to teach. That study or course has to be good. Teachers need to learn how to create engaging and activating lessons. This is the best way to retain attention; this is the best way pupils learn.
    – Internships are often underappreciated, but they are of extreme importance.
    – The school and the available resources are just as important as teachers, they are also part of the learning experience. The school building itself has to be in good condition. Sadly, this is not always the case! Teaching (and learning) in good conditions and having great resources at your disposal will make teachers stay.

    I’m a teacher in the Netherlands, so I don’t know how student teachers are taught in the United Kingdom, but it does seem as though a lot of problems could already be easily solved: properly educate student teachers. Providing student teachers with enough tools to become great, high quality teachers will already significantly decrease the inequality.

    But in order to do that, you need to focus more on what makes teachers great. Sadly, there are divided opinions on that matter – while that should not be the case.

  • Psi
    I don’t understand why you appear to have flown off the handle at John Marriott’s measured comments? I must say, I nearly lost it this morning when I saw a job advert for a Regional Education Commissioner in Bristol (I think it was Commissioner, not Commissar). The Tories appear to be returning to their default position of centralising public services, providing no regional democratic control. This party has for many years been a party of devolution of power. Unfortunately we saw under the coalition how, either our MPs were convinced by the Tories’ centralising, or they made an appallingly bad job of opposing it, both in local government finance cuts, and in removal or starvation of various local services. Shame!

    As for Parent Governors, as a non-parent governor, I work with them all the time, and many are very good. In general, however, certainly in smallish primary schools, it is not a question of anyone’s democratic choice, it is just those who volunteer, and even then people have to go round whipping up interest!

  • Great work from Nick. Good to see him continuing his work on social mobility.

  • Lieke Sneep 12th Jan '16 - 2:30pm

    Having said all of that, I am delighted to see that there are people such as Mr Clegg trying to change the educational system and providing children with the ability to chase their dreams, to use their abilities and talents, to reach their full potential, no matter who they are or where they come from. Well done.

  • Tim13

    This is the internet; you are reading tone where there is none.

    As for your point about the Regional Commissar, I would equally agree that is a terrible idea too. My objection is the “forward to the 1970’s” attitude to Education I often see coming from LibDem commenters.

    I see the attacks on Philip Harris as reflecting very poorly on those who do, there is plenty of snobbery in the “he was just a carpet sales man” which is not a relevant argument. I happen to disagree with the way the Harris foundation has gone about establishing its network (academy chains would be better to build links over greater geographical distances and having some local networks that link local schools) but none of the criticism I have seen by commenters here have risen above personal sneers.

    Your anecdote about the parent governors having trouble drumming up interest doesn’t seem to suggest that “local democratic account ability” is even possible. If parents take so little interest how much attention do voters pay in council elections when a majority don’t even have children in the system. That does not mean that what exists is perfect but “forwards to the 1970’s” isn’t the right answer either.

    As for devolution I agree but for some reason lots of people seem to think that stops at county level and also struggle to see that you also need to keep the devolved task manageable and avoid organisations with lots of conflicts of interests.

  • Left Business Observer has some great posts on education and what lessons can be learned by comparing systems through the PISA test scores. However, some quick thoughts:
    (i) Poor, smart kids fall behind rich, less smart, kids by 4 or 5. The emphasis has to be earlier rather than latter to tackle inequality
    (ii) Peer effects make a huge difference. Housing segregation and the creaming off of kids into private or grammar schools means that there are reinforcing tendencies in both troubled and successful schools
    (iii) The best predictor of kids’ performance is how well their parents did. You can guess a lot by simply counting the number of books in someone’s home. Tackle adult illiteracy and innumeracy and you cut out cycles of poverty
    (iv) Well-paid, well-training, and motivated teachers with time to plan makes a huge difference. Look at teachers in Finland. All unionized and don’t work excessive hours. But you also need teachers who are ambitious for their students. Push their best kids to apply to Cambridge or the LSE or somewhere great for university; challenge them to learn that difficult language; tell them that they can be a doctor or a lawyer or prime minister.
    (v) Find a pay structure to get the best teachers in the most challenging schools and have a contract that pays by the hour rather than the year. If teachers want to organise out-of-hours extra help classes, reward them for it. If a new teacher wants to set up a club for music, chess, debate etc, be excited about it, rather than treating them like a scab.

  • Helen Tedcastle 12th Jan '16 - 3:43pm

    Lieke Sneep

    ‘… properly educate student teachers. Providing student teachers with enough tools to become great, high quality teachers will already significantly decrease the inequality.’

    Indeed. It begs the question therefore, why Nick Clegg’s commission has no representative from the teaching profession but a rep from an American-based charity which gives its trainees just six weeks training and throws them into a two year stint in a schools, where there is a teacher shortage. Most of these young people leave after their contract expires.

    Incidentally, would we be happy with any other profession throwing raw recruits into the deep end like this – and giving them equal status to teachers who trained for a year or more?

    So one has to ask whether Clegg’s commission could not get experienced professionals to sit on the panel (after five years of top-down imposed ‘education reform’, would it be a surprise?) or he decided to bypass the profession.

    Either way, how can this commission be effective when it isn’t including, or being seen to include, the teaching profession?

  • Councillor Joe Otten makes much of a letter written by an Ofsted official to Sheffield City Council. The letter was made public by the Liberal Democrat group on Sheffield City Council – of which Councillor Otten is a member).

    In the letter, OFSTED criticises the overall performance of the city’s primary schools. In a recent test for 11-year-olds. 77 per cent reached the expected level in reading, writing and maths compared with a national average of 80 per cent.

    The letter says: “In key stage one, the results of the year one phonics check also place Sheffield near the bottom of the pile. Just 73 per cent of pupils reached the expected standard lagging four per cent behind the national figure. It adds: “However one compares Sheffield at key stages 1 and 2, its performance, whether against national or regional figures, is weak. This is frankly inexcusable.”

    Did Ofsted really use the term “bottom of the pile” ?

    Sheffield City region scores 3% and 4% below the national average

    In fairness to Sheffield schools, could Councillor Otten tell us about levels of deprivation in the Sheffield City Region compared with the rest of the U.K. ? There are leafy suburbs in Nick Clegg’s constituency (where Joe is a Councillor) but the last time I watched a match at Bramall Lane and Hillsborough the environs weren’t exactly salubrious.

    According to the Office of National Statistics there are 62,000 unemployed in Sheffield City Region (6.9% compared with 5.7% nationally) .

    Indices of Deprivation are also published by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). Sheffield Indices of Deprivation 2015 are interesting and recent changes don’t reflect well on whoever was in National Government since 2010.

    Sheffield has moved to the 60th most deprived local authority in England out of 326. In 2010, Sheffield was ranked 56th. Sheffield is ranked as the 6th most deprived Core City, out of a total of 8 in England. 23% of Sheffield’s LSOAs are now ranked in the 10% most deprived in the country. If Sheffield were compared with other local authorities based on the proportion of LSOAs in the most deprived 10%, it would be ranked as the 26th most deprived local authority. In 2010 it was ranked 31st, by this measure.

    So Joe, do you think comparative deprivation has anything to do with Sheffield school standards ?

  • Simon Foster 12th Jan '16 - 7:49pm

    Disappointing that Nick Clegg didn’t chose to consult the Liberal Democrat Education Association within the party in any way when it has come to this which has appeared to us out of the blue. I suspect we shall be writing to him.

    Simon Foster, LDEA Executive Committee member.

  • @Simon Foster 12th Jan ’16 – 7:49pm

    It’s not immediately apparent that this initiative has anything to do with the Lib Dems: the press release makes no mention of the Lib Dems (although the words Labour and Conservative appear), referring rather to “former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg” as Chair. Perhaps this is more Nick Clegg news rather than Lib Dem news – presuming the two things aren’t interchangeable at this point.

  • Nigel Quinton 12th Jan '16 - 11:56pm

    I was encouraged to hear Nick Clegg on the Today programme espousing what sounded like common sense and evidenced based concern over righting inequality. What I read above has rather popped the balloon. Yet again we seem to be back to a process that ignores large swathes of expertise within the party (LDEA), and includes no union representation.

    This may be unfair criticism but it does seem as though Nick Clegg is determined not to be unduly burdened by his party. I sincerely hope he can ensure that these criticisms are proven to be unfounded.

    As for “psi” and his/her comment ‘I was told by someone on a board of governors in the 90’s that the LEA governors were the least effective members’ – if this is what passes in his/her part of the world for evidenced based policy making….!

  • Nick has time for this but not to be in Parliament. He voted just twice in divisions in November and in just 20% of those in December. Votes he missed included votes to extend the power to deport people before considering an appeal on human rights grounds and on restricting the support available to failed asylum seekers and illegal migrants.

    If he wants to be some advocate for education reform rather than an MP than thats up to him but he needs to make his mind up.

  • Richard Underhill 13th Jan '16 - 10:15am

    Hywel 13th Jan ’16 – 9:37am Deportation mainly applies to convicted criminals who are barred from re-entering the UK. It also applies to others who have been found in the UK again in breach of a previous deportation order. Any application which they have made to remain in the UK will have included human rights criteria since slightly before the Human Rights Act came into force across the UK on Sunday 1/10/2000. Individual circumstances vary widely, but readers should be careful not to assume that human rights have not been considered. Repeated applications are made simply because the applicant dislikes the decision of the independent appellate authority. Care should also be taken to distinguish deportation from administrative removal, which has different consequences.

  • John Marriott

    I don’t consider you a dinosaur, but the education debate seems dominated by those who seem to desire a return to Grammar Schools (a small minority in the LibDems) and those who want to return to the 1970’s (much larger in the LibDems). Both arguments as presented seem to come back to an imposition of a previous system rather than taking positives from the current model and trying things here and there and spreading what works.

    As to the “mess” you refer too, from the types of school you list several are actually the same just under different names. Secondary schools are just an age range so all the others cover this. Comprehensives are just the LEA controlled schools, Academies and Free Schools are really just different brands of the same thing (normally with a different history, Academies normally being converted LEA schools), Grammars are the same then have ever been (including in the 1970s, and in a very limited number of places). Private schools are irrelevant as they are not the state’s problem so including them is just a distraction.

    As for the difference in philosophy between schools, why do you see that as a problem? Diversity in delivery of other services gives us more ability to cater to different circumstances as well as experimentation. I’m not sure about your suggestion that Academies may as well be private, private schools have much more freedom and as susceptible to political whim of a government minister.

    As for the concerns that need addressing as a priority the lack of places has to be top and then the non-pay treatment of teachers and the effect it has on morale and retention. The centralisation has driven ever more bureaucratic approaches to “monitoring” teachers. This trend of badly designed measuring was evident under the LEAs and has continued under the centralised control (it is worse now simply because these things are cumulative), governance and “brands” of schools do nothing to help that.

    Nigel Quinton

    I’m not sure you read the thread of comments fully. My comment was responding to an anecdote provided by David Evans, so I provided one is response. I assumed that this didn’t need explaining rather than go in to some kind of long ramble accusing David of relying too much on personal anecdotes to form his opinion, which would be unfair as it was a throw away comment. I guess you didn’t make the connection, sorry if the connection wasn’t clear.

  • @Stevo “(ii) Peer effects make a huge difference. Housing segregation and the creaming off of kids into private or grammar schools means that there are reinforcing tendencies in both troubled and successful schools”

    By far the biggest effect is housing segregation, as independent schools and the few remaining (super) grammars are only a small proportion of the total.

    Wouldn’t it be a good idea to harness this peer effect for the benefit of the least well off, by reintroducing academic selection across the piece, rather than excluding them as we do in the current selection by house price system?

  • Peter Watson 13th Jan '16 - 1:38pm

    @TCO “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to harness this peer effect for the benefit of the least well off, by reintroducing academic selection across the piece, rather than excluding them as we do in the current selection by house price system?”

    Probably not.
    There is plenty of evidence that academic selection amplifies the effect of social and economic inequality, but rather than derail this thread I’ll link back to a golden oldie: https://www.libdemvoice.org/tories-obsession-with-selective-schooling-is-damaging-the-educational-chances-of-children-john-pugh-47888.html

  • @Peter Watson:

    “Grouping students by their devotion to academics, for example, may benefit all involved. Those who value learning can share their enthusiasm and act as mentors for those who have other priorities.”

    http://education.stateuniversity.com/pages/2315/Peer-Relations-Learning.html

  • @John Marriot: “When I referred to ‘secondary schools’ I was, of course, referring to secondary moderns, which the comprehensive schools movement sought to abolish. In areas where selection at 11plus survives these schools are left with those students deemed to be not worthy of a grammar school education. Despite valiant efforts from their staff, or by renaming themselves academies, they will never to able to compete with selective schools (and here I would class most private schools) in terms of academic achievement, which seems to be the only thing that is important to the present government.”

    The Secondary Modern schools in Trafford produce better outcomes for their pupils than for similar pupils in many supposedly all-ability comprehensive schools. We already know that grammar schools produce better outcome for their pupils. Being in a Secondary Modern school does not necessarily mean that a pupil is receiving a second-rate education; indeed it maybe exactly what they need and produce the best for them.

    Insisting that pupils be forced into poor comprehensive schools in the name of some spurious equality is the worst kind of state-interfering political dogma. And worse, it’s an avoidable tragedy for the pupils affected by it.

  • Peter Watson 13th Jan '16 - 4:11pm

    @TCO “may benefit”?

    Analyzing PISA data for 22 European countries is particularly advantageous for pursuing our concerns, as they allow applying multilevel analyses (student; school; country) and assessing the interaction effects between the characteristics of the educational system on the one hand and student’s and school’s socioeconomic backgrounds on the other hand. We find descriptive evidence that institutional parameters that foster freedom in education, such as an early selection with numerous tracks of study, a great significance of public selective schools, as well as of private schools with fees, jointly amplify socioeconomic inequalities in performances between students essentially by magnifying the effect of schools’ social composition on students’ competences.

    (http://esr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/18/esr.jcu040.short?rss=1)

  • David Evans 13th Jan '16 - 4:32pm

    Peter, “We find descriptive evidence that …” what does the term “descriptive evidence” mean? What evidence have they found? It rather sounds like “We have found things written …”, but there must be more to it than that, surely. Can you explain what they are saying?

  • @ Joe Otten My question : Do you think comparative deprivation has anything to do with Sheffield school standards ?” Your answer : “I wouldn’t have said so in the article if I didn’t. Is there a further point you were trying to make?”

    Yes, indeed, though you seem determined not to grasp it. The impression given in Lord Paul Scriven’s Yorkshire Post press release is that it’s all the fault of the local authority (both elected and professional)…. heads must roll etc.,…. In short, predictable self justifying knock about party political stuff.

    In fact Sheffield’s socio-economic determinants deteriorated post 2010. There was a direct impact on the population in employment and welfare, and indirectly in slashed local authority budgets which could have alleviated the consequences. The cuts imposed by Messrs Osborne/Alexander forced the city council to reorganise all 36 early years Sure Start centres into 17 children’s centre “areas” to save £3.5m. These centres were Ofsted-registered and provided childcare, education, health and family support.

    It’s surprising that Sheffield’s results aren’t even worse. Tribute should have been paid to Sheffield’s teachers (and the professional officers of the LEA) for doing as well as they did in adverse circumstances. I would have been more impressed if Lord Paul Scriven had done this.

    One can only hope that Nick Clegg’s Commision will be a bit more evidence based.

  • Peter Watson 13th Jan '16 - 9:13pm

    @David Evans “what does the term “descriptive evidence” mean?”
    Excellent question!
    My understanding is that “descriptive evidence” means that it is based upon quantitative statistical analysis and objectively describes a feature of the data being analysed without attempting to infer anything else beyond that.

  • Peter Watson 13th Jan '16 - 9:24pm

    @TCO “The Secondary Modern schools in Trafford produce better outcomes for their pupils than for similar pupils in many supposedly all-ability comprehensive schools”
    Grammar schools do not operate in a two-tier vacuum within their council area, and I would be interested to know if there are data on the populations in Trafford schools.
    Grammar schools in Trafford, particularly faith schools, draw in children from far outside their local area (I personally know several children who travel almost 20 miles from my village in Cheshire). Consequently, it would not surprise me if the non-selective schools in Trafford have children who were displaced from the grammar schools they might otherwise have entered and are not representative of the sort of secondary moderns that would otherwise exist.

  • Peter Watson 13th Jan '16 - 9:34pm

    Returning to the theme of the article, I think that academic selection and the grammar school debate are unnecessary distractions from the issue of inequality in education.
    Unless someone can dream up some sort of in utero IQ test, then all the factors that impact upon children’s schooling, whether socio-economic or geographical or anything else, will still be present through early-years and primary school education up to the point any academic selection is applied.

  • Peter Watson 13th Jan '16 - 9:47pm

    @TCO “Grouping students by their devotion to academics, for example, may benefit all involved. Those who value learning can share their enthusiasm and act as mentors for those who have other priorities.”
    The second sentence of your quote and the one that follows it in the article that you cite (“Students who motivate themselves in nonacademic directions can view and appreciate the choices of peer learners.”) could be an endorsement of a comprehensive education system. Indeed, the article could also be describing streaming or setting within a comprehensive school. Are we converting you? 😉

  • Peter Watson 13th Jan '16 - 10:08pm

    I am a little confused by the emphasis given to variation between regions in Nick Clegg’s speech and the presentation of the Social Market Foundations’s report.
    In terms of the proportion of students receiving 5 good GCSE grades, when considering family income (as indicated by eligibility for free school meals) the study reports a difference of 40% for poorer students compared with 70% for others. In contrast, the geographical variation shows a range of 67% +/- 4% which reduces to 65% +/- 2% outside London (which probably has some unique features and has also seen some significant improvements over the last 10 years or so). Is this regional variation statistically significant? Does it simply correlate with the socio-economic factors that are generally accepted as important?
    It may be that without this particular aspect, Nick Clegg’s initiative has nothing to distinguish itself from others which look at tackling the effects of income inequality. I worry that perhaps it makes it easier for him to consider organisational and structural features of schools (introduce a bit of privatisation/choice/competition/marketisation/…) while ignoring the social and economic environments within which they operate.

  • Richard Harris 14th Jan '16 - 10:25am

    Perhaps Nick could help directly by donating his speech fees to schools in poorer areas. £22k (for half an evenings work, paid by one of the banks he was going to get tough with) would be greatfully received I’m sure.

  • Richard Harris 14th Jan '16 - 10:33am

    …or to put it another way I simply do not trust someone who thinks earning money at that rate is acceptable has anything close to the social perspective to deal with the real issues our education system faces.

  • @Richard Harris “Perhaps Nick could help directly by donating his speech fees to schools in poorer areas. £22k (for half an evenings work, paid by one of the banks he was going to get tough with) would be greatfully received I’m sure.…or to put it another way I simply do not trust someone who thinks earning money at that rate is acceptable has anything close to the social perspective to deal with the real issues our education system faces.”

    Or to put it another way, £22k that would have been additional profit to Goldman Sachs (and taxed in the UK at the CT rate of 20%, assuming GS are domiciled in the UK for tax purposes) has been paid to a UK citizen who will be taxed at 45% (higher if NI is paid). So by accepting this fee Nick Clegg has assured the Treasury of an additional £5.5k it wouldn’t otherwise have got (higher, if we factor in NI and GS is not UK domiciled). In addition, the UK Treasury will benefit by 20% of any of Nick’s net fee that he chooses to spend in the UK (VAT).

    So thanks to Nick the UK Treasury has benefitted with additional money to be spent on all sorts of projects including “the real issues our education system faces.”

  • @Peter Watson “The second sentence of your quote and the one that follows it in the article that you cite (“Students who motivate themselves in nonacademic directions can view and appreciate the choices of peer learners.”) could be an endorsement of a comprehensive education system. Indeed, the article could also be describing streaming or setting within a comprehensive school. Are we converting you?”

    No. It’s a good description of a selective education system. Streaming in Comprehensives is trying to put lipstick on a pig.

  • @ Joe Otten You state :

    “David, You seem to be suggesting that a low standard of education in Sheffield should simply be expected and accepted. This may be the current Labour administration’s view, but it wasn’t the policy from 2008 to 2011 when we ran the city and we saw some improvements which have since been lost.

    I’m suggesting nothing of the sort and it’s disingenuous to say I do.

    What I am saying is that The Coalition Administration your MP was a senior member of introduced spending cuts which adversely affected the performance of the comparatively disadvantaged children in the city.

    You omitted to say that the Ofsted officer who wrote the letter has since retreated – and as much as Ofsted ever do – virtually apologised to the nine (not just Sheffield) LEA’;s he wrote an identical letter to. This wass all in the Yorkshire Post in December and you failed to mention it.

  • Yes, I’m absolutely sure, but my remarks were addressed to Joe Otten.

    I’m afraid your habit of specialising in asking a question which implies bad faith by innuendo is rather tiresome. Some while ago I recall another poster on this site saying they weren’t going to play any more games with you. The same goes for me. I won’t be engaging with you in the future.

  • Richard Underhill 18th Jan '16 - 4:33pm

    Nick Clegg was on the Andrew Marr Show on BBC1 on Sunday 18/1/2016.

  • amber hartman 19th Jan '16 - 4:23am

    Nick should also research the UN-elected Home Educators- i.e. those parents whose children have been failed by the system as the child has medical issues such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and could not cope with school. Many parents get no support from the government.

    There is apparently a 65% in Home Education and the reasons need researched. I have been asked to be the lead on Home Education for the Liberal Democrats but will work cross party where beneficial.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJeff 25th Feb - 10:12pm
    n hunter 25th Feb '20 - 9:15pm: Maybe my houses on stilts (with all other provisions ie sanitation, waste disposal methods) is a future possibility....
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 25th Feb - 9:26pm
    @Rob It works for me.
  • User Avatarn hunter 25th Feb - 9:15pm
    Sir James Bevan chief exec. of environment agency says dredging and environmental precautions are a must. Population growth will put pressure on non flood plain...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 25th Feb - 9:00pm
    Didn't mention another small matter, Peter. Unlike Holyrood, said Westminster parliament has an unelected second Chamber. Twenty six of its members are Bishops of the...
  • User AvatarNick Baird 25th Feb - 8:34pm
    It's "deeply heretical" for a reason. I simply do not accept that formal ID is the answer to Home Office incompetence/maliciousness when it comes to...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 25th Feb - 8:00pm
    @ Peter You've forgotten something, Peter. Scotland has a parliament elected on PR lines.. so it has some democratic authority. Unfortunately ultimate power resides in...