Tag Archives: secondary modern schools

Post-18 education – a chance for the Lib Dems to make a real impact?

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The Secretary of State for Education, Gavin Williamson MP, has recently placed the Blair philosophy of ‘further education’ in doubt by saying that we are sending too many young people to ‘university’. You might say that this isn’t that surprising coming from a Tory, albeit one who was educated in a state comprehensive school.

However, quite a few people have been thinking this for years and some, like me, have been prepared to say it out loud. Does that make us bad people? Have we perhaps lost our way as a nation when it comes to equipping our young people with the knowledge and skills not only to make a success of their lives but also to make a valuable contribution to our nation’s future economic success?

We can’t keep relying on other countries to provide us with qualified people, whether they be doctors, nurses, scientists, teachers and engineers or bricklayers, plumbers and joiners. We have got to start producing more of our own home-grown material and not expect other countries to provide us with the qualified people we undoubtedly need. The same also surely applies in this uncertain age to manufactured goods.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 23 Comments

Book review: Diane Reay’s “Miseducation – Inequality, Education and the Working Classes”

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I had been seeing a friend and was on my way out when she picked up a book and said – you must read this. I found it a shocking revelation.

Diane Reay published Miseducation Inequality, and the working classes in 2017. The eldest of eight children, her father a miner, she is now an Emeritus Professor at Cambridge and visitor professor at the London School of Economics.

Diane writes that her book is intended to provide an understanding of the working class experience of education together with her sadness and need to make sense of the resulting damage. There is fascinating research, the facts with full details. The book finally comes to a survey by Andy Green on the rise of education systems in England, France and the US, and singles out England as “the most blatant example of the use of schooling by a dominant class to secure control over subordinate group”.

There was that idea from the beginning. The state Education Act of 1870 was due and in 1867 Robert Lowe wrote:

If the lower classes must now be educated they must be educated that they may appreciate and defer to a higher civilisation when they meet it.

Posted in Books | Also tagged and | 23 Comments
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