Wednesday, November 07, 2007

It's An Education: Academy, Grammar, (E)Quality

My daughter (15) is off this evening to her first grown up gig on her own. Calvin Harris at the Academy 1 as it goes. Her first gig, also out of parental sight, was at the MEN Arena when she was about nine or ten. With her then best friend. They had won a televised day on the road with the Stars of Pop Idols show. The VT is safely stashed away for future embarrassment.

The pair are still best friends. Ten years after meeting. Though they now go to different schools in the mix and match mess of faith, independent, single-sex, community and state selective schools we have in the area.

Manchester, along with other big post-industrial cities, has fast improving schools. But also a history of being pretty low in exam league tables. If statistics existed across the splintered system, including the independents and our children in state Grammar Schools in neighbouring boroughs' like Graham Brady's Trafford (boosting their results), we'd be looking far better.

But never mind just combining statistics in some paper exercise. How about combining all the students into lightly streamed community schools. School runs down. Time saved. Pollution reduced. Accidents averted. No panic spending to pay fees for mediocre independents or crappy crammers.

What's more it would be fair and just as effective. The very best teachers would be available to those in need of their talents and inspiration of all abilities.

Don't get me wrong the belated introduction of Tomlinson reforms is very welcome. But why have we tolerated these great commutes, this tremendous inequality and often rich-get-richer funding mechanisms?

Every School A Good School! Quality First. Choice within not between equally resourced schools. The market may get there in the end. But why wait?


Miles said...

I've been making some enquiries about Manchester schools and particularly acadamies.
I'll link to this and blog it.

Chris Paul said...

Righto bro