Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Stating the Obvious

Charity states the obvious. That should be the headline of the BBC article that tells us that the Sutton Trust believes that the top state schools serve the wealthy. Of course they do. The comprehensive system works on a basis of catchment areas. Whilst there are catchment areas, it is possible for parents to move into those of desirable schools - and who's going to be able to afford those most easily? The rich, of course.

Unless you take schools out of the community entirely, and instead operate on a system of social engineering, where government-imposed formulae are use to determine a school's composition, then the comprehensive system will always have this problem. Our school system is now far more geared towards rewarding parental wealth than it ever was when we had grammar schools. When you had to actually be academically the creme de la creme to be able to enter a school, then other factors were far less important (although cultural factors, most notably the family background and attitudes towards education, undoubtedly affect performance too). Of course, most of the highest achieving state schools in the country are selective (and, although I don't know for sure, I would bet that Labour councils launching a crusade against selective schooling are probably responsible for more working-class areas being without these schools). It's hardly surprising, really. It's just a shame that the class warriors of the Labour movement are too blind to see how much they hold back the interests of the working class, that they claim to care so much about.