Thursday, 19 November 2009

Reasons to Vote Tory No. 1: Ed Balls, education and free schools

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I have never been an adult customer of our state education system (I attended a state grammar school myself but the nutcases running education scrapped them) - we took a little peek at it back around 1993 and opted out. Now I know this option isn't there for most parents and they have to use a system that regiments, directs and, for many less able children, offers little but the scrapheap of semi-literacy.

But for the truly awful Ed Balls the last vestiges of parental control over their children's education will have to go - so home schooling is out. Or rather not out but inspected to death - complicated forms, self-important visiting experts, endless safeguarding checks and all the unpleasant paraphernalia of bureaucracy will do the job.

...and the kids? Will they be better educated, will they have more life chances? Nah.

In contrast Michael Gove's proposals for free schools present a new opportunity - and are the main reason for voting in a Conservative Government.

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1 comment:

Ruth Moss said...

I really think the registration and inspection of Home Educating families is a huge civil liberties issue. After all, for the police to enter your home there has to be some kind of reasonable suspicion. But now, "inspectors" can enter the homes of adults simply because they are home educating. No suspicion needed (or rather, they're implying that home educating is enough of a suspicion itself). It won't stop with home educators I don't think. Soon we'll have to have a license to parent.

Free Schools - looks interesting, although I'm a bit wary of the old "handing power back to the teachers" thing because it sounds similar to the rhetoric of "bring back the cane" and I am not a believer in the reward/punishment dichotomy at all (current schools tend to veer close to 'reward reward reward' with the occasional 'punish'; I don't think changing it to the other way round is any better, and fear is never a good environment in which to learn). But they do look interesting, as an alternative to current schools.

I do have a lot of worries about the Tories because of my own personal circumstances and also memories of growing up in Liverpool in the eighties. And a few other reasons too. So I'm weighing all this up in deciding who to vote for.