Monday, July 27, 2009

The Grammar School imperative

There is presently much chatter among the politicking intelligentsia about education. Possibly because after a decade of Tony Blair’s ‘Education, education, education’ and God knows how many education white papers, green papers and acts of parliament to ‘reform’ the system, standards have fallen, results have worsened, and thousands upon thousands of children still leave school year after year having failed to achieve the most basic of qualifications. After 13 years of New Labour, two entire cohorts have passed through secondary education, and they are as ill-equipped as ever. It has been empirically established that where governments interfere, demanding ‘equality of outcome’ from social engineering with proscriptive initiatives and micro-management of process, the effects are damaging to generations of schoolchildren and detrimental to society.

A recent report establishes that Labour has succeeded in restoring a privately educated ruling class. It highlights the fact that just 7 per cent of the population attend private schools, yet they account for 75 per cent of judges, 70 per cent of finance directors, 50 per cent of top journalists and 33 per cent of MPs (among Conservatives, the figure is closer to 50 per cent). It does not matter how many incomprehensible Glaswegians read out the news, how many Geordies dispense life sentences, how many Brummies become bishops or how many one-legged Asian lesbians are adopted for safe Conservative seats, a disproportionate number will have been privately educated.

For he that hath, to him shall be given even more: and he that hath not, from him shall be taken the very means by which he might one day have hath.

Grammar schools have been the most dynamic and successful motor of social mobility ever conceived. Yet every major political party is dedicated either to their constriction or eradication: they are all intent on abolishing the meritocratic principle by which they were defined.

The rich have always sent their children to private schools, and the not-so-rich have scrimped and saved in traumatic attempts to spare their own children from the inadequacies and deficiencies of a system they half endured. When there was a grammar school in every town, entry was on merit, irrespective of parental income or social class. And the poorest could rise to attain the highest: the sons of miners could become a Nobel prize-winner and the daughters of grocers could become prime minister. Now, of course, entry to the grammars is as restricted as it is for private education: while the latter is dependent on the ability to pay the fees, the former is dependent on the ability to afford a house in the catchment area.

Social mobility has nothing to do with the fascist egalitarianism of Socialism – economic equality or equality of outcome. Sadly, there will always be those for whom aspiration causes social division and so must be abolished. But social mobility is inherent to meritocracy which is foundational to Conservatism because it is dependent on equality of opportunity. And that opportunity must be available to all. In order for there to be ‘grammar school boys’ to compete fairly with the privileged Old Etonians, there simply needs to be more grammar schools to provide the bright working and lower middle class child with opportunities equal to those of private schools.

There are some in the Labour Party who recognise this. Some are duplicitous liars; a few are struggling to express integrity and honesty in a party stewing in its own corruption. Ed Balls is one of the former; Alan Milburn the latter.

A few weeks ago, the Secretary of State for Breast Feeding and Nappy Changing Children, Schools and Families provided a statement on the Schools’ White Paper, and he made an extraordinary remark. “Our best state schools”, he said, “now match the best schools in the private sector and anywhere in the world.”

This was a curious boast and a perverse arrogation of credit, since the only state schools which ‘match’ the academic achievement of the best private schools are the few remaining grammar schools – the very schools New Labour have persistently undermined and have sought consistently to eradicate.

And yet he manifestly (if tacitly) praised the achievement of the grammars, which manifestly (and overtly) select by academic ability.

But, of course, the selection is no longer purely meritocratic, for it is not by academic ability alone, but the ability of mummy and daddy to buy a house with the right postcode.

This is what the Conservative Party must address, and by doing so they would do well to learn from history. If Michael Gove wishes a true revolution, he must study the provisions of the 1944 Education Act. Two cohorts on from the passing of that act, the ‘best jobs’ were no longer the preserve of the privileged élite: they were open to everyone with the ability, irrespective of social class or economic circumstances.

Alan Milburn’s report on social mobility is brave, though it is a curious intervention in the twilight of Gordon Brown’s premiership from which Mr Milburn had removed himself in order ‘to spend more time with the family’. His return to the stage is ominous. But he is evidently a man with whom the Conservative Party could do business. He praises the Conservative proposal to introduce more competition in the supply of school places, noting that in countries such as Denmark and Sweden parents are able to choose schools. And he even uses the ‘v’ word which no Conservative has dared to use since the very concept was blamed for the loss of a general election. He advocates vouchers for education (and if for education, why not for health?), and sees clearly that what Britain needs ‘a second great wave of social mobility like that of the 1950s and 60s’.

It does not take a genius to credit this first ‘great wave’ to the 1944 Education Act which made access to grammar schools free for all.

Working class children in these schools were ‘pushed’ to aspire in ways their parents never knew how. Academic aspiration has historically been the preserve of the wealthier parents, but those from deprived backgrounds have rarely spurred their children to achieve beyond the confines of their context, principally for fear of them ‘getting above themselves’. Low aspiration begets low expectation; low expectation begets low achievement; low achievement begets low income; low income begets poverty; poverty begets crime...

The Conservative Party is on the right course in all but two respects:

1) There must be selection by ability and an end to mixed-ability teaching, which is ineffective and demoralising. Under existing plans, the intention is to remove the red tape that stops the creation of new schools. These institutions would then be free from local authority control, with central government paying an allowance of about £6,000 per pupil. But they will be unable to select by ability: they will all be comprehensive schools.

Inequality is the natural order of things. Just as ugly people are barred by nature from beauty competitions, and the tone deaf from joining the choir, so those who are not academic must be separated from those who are and provided with an education tailored to their needs. It is called ‘personalised learning’, and it is a Government initiative. But it is not possible to teach excellent bricklayers and outstanding poets at the same pace in the same group of 30, for the lowest common denominator will prevail, and this negates potential and undermines the country’s social and economic future.

2) Schools run by private companies must be able to make a profit. Under existing plans, only charities and non-profit-making bodies would be allowed to create new ‘free schools’ supported by the taxpayer. Worried that too few voluntary bodies will come forward to set up the schools, it is reported that the Party is presently considering introducing a profit motive.

Even James Purnell, the former work and pensions secretary, has said: “If allowing state schools to be run by profit-making companies encourages equality of capability, we will have to allow it.”

Cranmer is not sure what Mr Purnell means by ‘equality of capability’, but it sounds as though he is on the right lines.

Even as the Conservative Party considers permitting companies to profit in the provision of education, they are adamant that there is to be ‘no return to selection’. With 167 grammar schools still functioning, it is unclear why they talk about ‘return’. Selection has never entirely left us because the ‘pushy’ parents in some staunchly Conservative English counties (and Northern Ireland) demand it. And these schools lead the league tables: Northern Ireland leads the United Kingdom. And those counties where grammar schools exist will be given the right to create more grammar schools as populations expand, thereby perpetuating the school / house-price injustice.

The problem with the grammar / secondary-modern division is that it is too crude and simplistic for the postmodern area: it is just wrong to divide children into sheep and goats at the age of 11. The perception of success for the élite and failure for the rest is too unjust for mollycoddled Wii generation for whom appearance is all. And perhaps, like democracy, it always was imperfect. But with the return of access determined by wealth, it has become unjust.

And so Cranmer has a solution. There needs to be a tripartite system of secondary education quite independent of the state. Those gifted with academic ability should be educated in accordance with the grammar philosophy; those gifted with practical ability should be educated in accordance with the needs of their vocation; and those gifted with the ability for either must be educated such that their learning permits them the liberty to choose. For ability is as diverse as nature, and there is more in the ‘centre’ than exists at the extremities. Parents should indeed be given vouchers to spend in the school of their choice, but the school must be able to assert its choice provided the selection criterion is academic ability alone. And, curricula permitting, children would be free to move between schools, ending the primacy and finality of the 11+. Free of state interference, these schools would be free to pay teachers as they wish (and therefore more in a challenging environment), specialise, innovate, personalise and develop a unique ethos. And they must also be free to expand, for why limit the model of success? Indeed, if they are not to expand, oversubscription makes unjust selection a necessity.

It beggars belief that the same questions once posed by the great Dr Thomas Arnold are still being asked two centuries on. Real progress can only come from irrevocable reform. The only solution to the present delinquent educational tyranny is the removal of state control and the infuriating interference of the politicians, and the introduction of competition, selection and vouchers. And once parents get a taste of that, no democratic government would dare contemplate removing it.


Blogger Preacher said...

Good post Your Grace, but one is loathe to encourage the present government to meddle further with an education system they have all but destroyed, perhaps a change of power in the next election could do the trick but in the light of broken promises (Education, Education, Education) one must tread carefully. A system that now teaches comparative religion is going to be hard to turn around without radical rethinking, or perhaps the answer is to teach comparative Maths, comparative English or comparative physics etc ad infinitum.

27 July 2009 at 11:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting and pretty on the money your Grace, but for one thing. There are Brummie Bishops currently- one thinks of Southwark off the top of one's head- and he went to a grammar school.

He could of course still go to a grammar school because Birmingham has kept its grammar schools. Birmingham's real problem as a breeding ground for bishops is the abolition of the assisted places scheme, and before that the Direct Grant, which has weakened the ability of King Edward's School to nurture the bishops of tomorrow. A school numbering, off the top of my head again:

++Edward White Benson (Truro, Canterbury)
+Joseph Barber Lightfoot (Durham)
+Brooke Fosse Westcott (Durham)
+Eric Gilpin (Kingston upon Thames)
+Anselm Genders (Bermuda before he went to Mirfield)
and a Bishop of Bloemfontein whose name escapes me- to say nothing of at least one Provincial of the English Jesuits and Rev Henry Twells, author of the fine old hymn "At even when the sun was set"


Dr Pusey

27 July 2009 at 11:46  
Blogger Bernie Gudgeon said...

If only life was so simple. You’re assuming meritocracy is a given. That the spoils should always go to the brightest and best (or most deserving?). Why shouldn’t dumb schmucks have a shot at the title; do they really deserve to be relegated to the bottom of the pile because they lost out in some genetic lottery?

27 July 2009 at 11:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have come to the conclusion that it is down to basic survival. I was never very academic, maths being a complete mystery to me. It has been very obvious to me that academic people rule the world, to a degree anyway, and they are more than happy to see me scraping the shit from the floor. While it is true that I have little academic talent, it has become apparent that I have talents of my own which I can pursue to my advantage. I also have adopted a brutal attitude towards people who have different talents, mainly the academic Hitlers of the world, and I am quite happy to dispense a smack in the teeth if necessary. Bloody minded or what?

All the grammar schools in creation will never help people like shuv em up your arse is my only response.

27 July 2009 at 12:08  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Nothing radical or new about your suggestions, Crannie. The 1944 Act made provision for just the sort of tripartite system you are advocating. In Birmingham, which had a thriving and ample supply of grammar schools, the was 11-plus, 12-plus and 13-plus selection, and there were commercial and technical schools (which slected) as well as secondary moderns. (There was also Moseley School of Art which selected by artistic ability and was enormously successful.) There were not enough of the commercial, technical and art schools, but the heart of the system was right. It worked excellently. It should have been expanded and replicated.

You are right to say that the state should not be involved in the provision of education. It was state involvement that allowed the disgusting Crosland to fulfil (almost) his aim of getting rid of every ********* grammar school.

We would not tolerate the interference of the state in the provision of other necessities, such as food, clothing, transport, manufacturing, and where these have happened the result has been starvation, Trabants (and British Leyland), Mao suits and Doctor Beeching.

27 July 2009 at 13:17  
Blogger OurSally said...

If you accept that children are all different, then separate streams of schooling are the only answer. The three-stream system you advocate exists in Germany and has served my own children well. There is mobility between streams, in both directions. It is a shame that working class parents tend to discourage their children from the academic stream, but that is not the fault of the system. Socialist politicians do try to destroy it from time to time, but we have the example of England to show what can happen.

The great advantage of the German system is the well-thought-out vocational path. There is no shortage of skilled plumbers etc. They train as apprentice, journeyman and master, with day release in all these modules. The master diploma is hard, and anyone wishing to start a business must have it.

They used to do this in Britain. Why not do it again? Make the vocational path be perceived as a good thing for those suited for it. We need more plumbers than thermodynamicists, after all.

27 July 2009 at 13:47  
Blogger Gnostic said...

Speaking as a grammar school girl who came from a working class background I can only advocate the importance of the grammar system. The education I received made it possible to achieve things my grandparents could only dream about.

So much potential is being lost from bright kids who find themselves in a sink school because of social class and an inability to move area. To add insult to the injury their intelligence is diluted 9 or is that polluted?) by the poor standard of education that see many kids leave school largely illiterate and innumerate. That was almost unheard of back in the 60s and 70s even for those who were not quite so academically bright.

I had to move to ensure that my very bright son did not end up in a school unsuitable to his needs - Blackpool Education Dept wanted to put a kid who excelled at maths and science into a performing arts academy for God's sake! They changed that decision when I threatened to sue them but the alternative wasn't that much of an improvement. So we moved out of the area in order to get him into a technology college.

Even so, the technology college still wasn't up to doing its job where the really bright kids were concerned. Everything moved at the pace of the slowest so my son slept-walked through school, bored out of his skull.

So yes, let's see a return to common sense education. Let the kids learn at the pace they are capable of. Some are just late developers intellectually so make the system flexible. And let's dump the dumbed down, socialist indoctrination that passes for education these days.

PS funny a few of the commenters should mention Brum. I went to Saltley Grammar - sadly no longer a grammar.

27 July 2009 at 14:20  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Gnostic went to Saltley Grammar. So did I. Three years ago I had to visit its successor -- Saltley School -- in connection with examinations, and was saddened, partly to find everything much smaller than it used to be (!), but mainly by the patent diminution of standards in academic achievement and in social behaviour. I wondered what good had been achieved by the destruction of an excellent school -- one of many in the city.

Somebody mistakenly stated in an ealier comment that Birmingham retained its grammar schools. Sorry, but that is wrong. the King Edward foundation schools are the only ones that remain. These have gone: Saltley, Central, Waverley, Erdington Girls, Kings Norton, and several others. They are all now closed and transmogrified into Alistair Campbell's bog-standard comprehensives -- with emphasis on the word 'bog'.

27 July 2009 at 14:40  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anababtist almost gets it correct, however, Grammer Schools existed and worked before 1944. I went to one in that year and my parents, working class, paid a small sum for the year. I was given on arrival a whole set of textbooks and notebooks. There was a three component system, Grammar, Intermediate (2) and then at 13 you could try for the Technical College. The 1944 Ed. Act was a disaster, it paved the way for Labour councils to start dismantling the system. I had a choice of some 7 or 8 Grammar Schools, but then they imposed a zoning system so choice was scrapped. This of course was the start of the current shambles.
I would also note that our next door neighbour had 7 children, one went to an Intermediate School and ended up at Oxbridge with a Ph.D.

27 July 2009 at 14:47  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

The ashes have excelled themselves today. Thank you, Your Grace, for a wise article with a wise moral: the removal of state control and the infuriating influence of the politicians. Amen to that.

•Johnny Rottenborough•

27 July 2009 at 14:48  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Anonymous wrote:
'Anababtist [sic] almost gets it correct, however, Grammer [sic] Schools existed and worked before 1944.'

Yes, of course they did. But the 1944 Act made access to them free of charge.

27 July 2009 at 15:03  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Perhaps your best essay ever, Your Grace. It's one I'll copy and keep in the small archive.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Our family is one of the
not-so-rich have scrimped and saved in traumatic attempts to spare their own children from the inadequacies and deficiencies of a system they half endured.

Literally, by the Grace of God, our kids have been able to be schooled in good private schools along the way, and it has changed their lives (positively) for ever. It may end up changing the course of a couple of family trees.

Those schools did for them what we, with our resources, could not possibly have done for them ourselves.

Your concluding paragraph says it best:

The only solution to the present delinquent educational tyranny is the removal of state control and the infuriating interference of the politicians, and the introduction of competition, selection and vouchers. And once parents get a taste of that, no democratic government would dare contemplate removing it.

The operative phrase, in my mind, is 'democratic government', which, unless we rally to preserve it, is in danger of fading away; and with it, the opportunities for our grandchildren.

27 July 2009 at 15:17  
Anonymous no nonny said...

Gnostic and I both - Barnsley, here.

Yes, though - GrammAr schools existed long before 1944 - my parents, grandparents, et al went to some of them; and my nieces and nephews went to a couple of those that remain. Might it even be a tradition, for some bright-minded types?

Elsewhere and doubtless earlier, Shakespeare went to one, if I remember rightly. Before that, some aristocrats (esp. women) and their spiritual advisors were instrumental in setting up such access to education for the talented and needy: Margaret Beaufort springs to mind - though she was not the earliest.

Before that, I would remind us that King Alfred set up an interesting programme (albeit for 'free men' - and Alcuin of York was instrumental in bringing education to Charlie Boy and the french.

So as for this gubbins about our finally rising to the standards of the rest of the world......
[And yes, I've had a listen at that lot, too - I know it's gubbins!].

27 July 2009 at 15:56  
Anonymous not a machine said...

I had always been middle of the road on comprehensive education until fairly recently , when i realised that our schools had dfro some considerable time , been churning out pupils who did not have a good enough command of the basics to work much out for them selves.

The dumbing down of high quality english maths and science is bad enough, but it is the fact that the dumbing down in primary and junior does not help these children later on .

Take the computer of phone away and they are stuck , this cannot be right , our children will only function "with batteries" and they lose the devlopemental creativity of good practicle lessons and teachers .

my transformation on this subject was that I always said I had a good education I went to a comprehensive , however I remembered that just 4 years earler to the commencement of my time there it had been a grammer school .

They do allow those who want to attain good educational standards to be catered for , there is also the standards of behavoir .

it isnt class its about not degenerating into a mess .

I can see now that i had a good education , and i can also see that its origins were not as unfair to the working class as I had been told , for at least you didnt the money for a private education , just to have good command of english and maths, you could argue its civil even. Funny how things change .

Another note my parents always read to me at night (until about 9) and we had a small selection of books , like world of knowledge , or the How to series as well as an upright piano ie the home was equipped for home learning , by parents who were interested in teaching there children , and not just leaving them to the wiles of the TV set .

27 July 2009 at 16:07  
Anonymous Laird said...

Bring back the grammar schools in
every town,free of charge and entry
by examination result only.The diligent plodders and the bright
shoud be rewarded.I am sceptical of this ever happening again.Soon it will be non pc to exclude the tone deaf from the choir,the colour
blind from art restoration and the claustrophobic from becoming airline pilots.This may be the case already.

27 July 2009 at 16:30  
Blogger Gnostic said...

anbaptist - small world! :D

Do you remember Mr Cherry? He was my first year form master (1C) and took us for French. Then there was Mr Shakespeare...

27 July 2009 at 16:32  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Cherry? No. But Shakespeare; yes, decidedly. For very personal reasons.

27 July 2009 at 16:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anabaptist, actually you're completely wrong, I'm only half right. I said that Birmingham retained grammar schools. You said that Birmingham only had the KE foundation ones left. Actually, only five of the nine remaining are KE.

Birmingham grammar schools:

Handsworth GS for Boys
Queen Mary's GS
KE Camp Hill Boys
KE Camp Hill Girls
KE Five Ways
KE Handsworth Girls
KE Aston Boys
Bishop Vesey's
Sutton Coldfield GS

Yes, many were lost, but I think that slightly over 50% remain.

I went to KES by the way, so should really stay out of this debate- although it is remarkable that so many of us seem to be Brummies on this site.

Dr Pusey

27 July 2009 at 17:38  
Anonymous Anabaptist said...

Oh dear, some people just can't let go.

Anonymous wrote that I am completely wrong and he half right. Strange that he doesn't describe himself as half wrong.

Here's his list of so-called
Birmingham grammar schools:

'Handsworth GS for Boys
Queen Mary's GS
KE Camp Hill Boys
KE Camp Hill Girls
KE Five Ways
KE Handsworth Girls
KE Aston Boys
Bishop Vesey's
Sutton Coldfield GS

Yes, many were lost, but I think that slightly over 50% remain.'

I reply that of these, the two in Sutton Coldfield were not among the original Birmingham grammar schools to which I referred. Sutton Coldfield was a Royal Borough until 1974, when it was incorporated into Birmingham, along with its schools. So that's two that don't really count in the terms I was using.

Queen Mary's Grammar School is in Walsall, a different authority from Birmingham, as is Queen Mary's High School for Girls, (which, in fairness, you didn't think to drag into Birmingham). So there's another one to remove from your list (plus the one you forgot to claim).

That leaves only Handsworth Grammar for Boys which is not a KE Foundation school.

Whilst I am glad to have been wrong about Handsworth, I am therefore puzzled as to why you say that I am completely wrong and you half right. I would say you are almost completely wrong, and I am almost completely right.

27 July 2009 at 18:03  
Blogger Think This said...

Absolutely spot on. We need to let in selection and business if good schooling is truly to be restored to this country.

27 July 2009 at 19:37  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gudgeon, if and when you ever need open heart surgery, presumably it will be OK by you if your surgeon is one of the dumb schmuks?

27 July 2009 at 19:52  
Anonymous Orwellian Prophet said...

You can't de-skill surgery. If our education system fails to produce enough surgeons, the shortfall will be filled by appropriately qualified immigrants. The same would be true in many other professions and sciences. We really do have to get this one right and make sure that all our children have the opportunity to progress to the best of their abilities.

A pool of low achievers translating into the long term unemployed and yet more immigration to make up a skills shortage is the last thing we need.

27 July 2009 at 22:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your Grace,that is the 1958 photograph of all those studying at Ushaw College, Durham,a Roman Catholic seminary at that time thriving but now sadly on life support. Where on earth, or in the ether, did you come across that?

27 July 2009 at 23:07  
Blogger Stefan said...

Your Grace, you are mistaken on the point: "Now, of course, entry to the grammars is as restricted as it is for private education: while the latter is dependent on the ability to pay the fees, the former is dependent on the ability to afford a house in the catchment area."

Property prices are indeed higher very close to grammar schools. However, their catchment areas are vast. I commuted 12 miles to mine, every day, and that was considered normal. Some boys lived 20 miles away. That's a radius that, even in Conservative-dominated Essex, contains some pretty deprived areas.

Only for the candidates at the very cut-off point, with equal 11+ scores, are considered in the same way as comprehensives consider their lot; ie, on grounds of distance, siblings, and so on. Otherwise, the sole criterion is academic.

I must, respectfully, contest Your Grace's over-zealous take on the catchment area issue.

27 July 2009 at 23:28  
Blogger English Viking said...

It astonishes me that one with Your Grace's perspicacity still has ANY faith in ANY politician's ability to improve ANYTHING. Vouchers will improve nothing, if all schools have them. We will simply end up in the same position, as customers, that we are currently in with the banks. Basically, there is a monopoly run by about 6 or 7 companies (an oxymoron, I know, but please let's not be pedantic) which means that, so long as one bank is not particularly better than the next, choice is restricted to receiving exactly the same garbage service from one or the other of the monopolists. This will inevitably happen with schools, if a similar system of 'choice' is introduced. What is required is a Soviet style purge of all the lilly livered, left leaning liberals controlling the schools, preventing their use as Government indoctrination centres, with an acknowledgement at the very highest levels that thick people will never achieve as highly as the intelligent. Intelligence cannot be taught, only nurtured, so let's get past the idea that anybody can achieve anything, recognising that the less able cannot be dragged up to the level of their intellectual superiors, with quite often the reverse being observed.

28 July 2009 at 01:19  
Blogger Neil said...

I am the product of the worse than Bog Standard comprehensive system, and unlike those that chirp out "it didnt do me any harm" I feel like my right to the finest education possible was taken away from me, all in the name of political ideology. Being a pupil of a Nottingham City school I have experienced one of the worst systems this country has to offer.
I for one did alright and pretty much Im on track and ahead of those who had religion or lived in a nicer area, but my major gripe is seeing some of those around me who had so much potential fall by the wayside. They are now Teenage mothers, shelf stackers or out there fighting the wars of a system that has cruelly never given them a chance.
Yet as a nation we are told that the old system was unfair. My response to this is - Is it fair to set social barriers in stone? To create a mentality of failure before a child has turned 15? Where the bright are bored stiff and the challenged out of their depth? From my own experience of leaving my old school to Sixth Form (on account of my Constituency not having a single place that offered A Levels!) I found that the so called best City school (incidentally a Catholic one) thrived not on outstanding genious but on learning the name of the game, to jump thorugh the right hoops. Something which is no doubt worrying for our future.
Back in the day my area did have a Grammar School, one that produced the current Chancellor of Nottingham University, which was situated in one of the less desirable parts of the city. This, now in its comprehensive form is one of the worst in the city, set to be merged with another failing school.
Not enough voices are heard who came through the system that let them down. Then again we're not listened to, we dont exist.

28 July 2009 at 02:08  
Anonymous Cynthia said...

This is a lovely photo and reminds

me of the way children used to look

in neat school uniforms with fresh

white faces.

28 July 2009 at 14:37  
Anonymous Adrian P said...

Our Elites are setting up a Two Tier Society, this is why they are Hammering the Middle classes.
Note the question of whether they have the same Vaccines as us, their choice of schools as opposed to ours.
They are setiing up a Neofuedalistic society a bit like in Fuedal times only very probably a LOT worse.
There dream is a Master Race of Elites ruling over a dumbed down slave race.

Think of the film 'The Time Machine' with the Morlocks and the Eloi, we being the Eloi and the Evil Morlocks perying upon us.
Gordon Brown makes a Great Morlock.
It was written by H G Wells, H G Wells can be researched you will see he said 'Millions will die resisting the New World Order'

Look at Aldous Huxley, it was Aldous Huxley's book Brave New World which Prophesised 'they' being the ruling Elites would use Propaganda and Drugs to maintain their position of control over the Masses.
So this is not my idea, and the evidenvce is out there, it just doesn't appear on the Six oclock News, confirming of course what Huxley predicted.

Think this is just a conspiracy theory, well ask your self, what is the First thing they order done to our children when they are Born.

Dr Blaylock on the Chemical
Dumbing down of society

Robert Kennedy Jnr on Mercury

Govt deliberately mis uses Science on

More on the chemical Dumbing Down of the Slave Masses

Aldous Huxley interviews.

Just look at the number of Academics now stating that our Education system is being Dumbed down.

28 July 2009 at 16:55  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes yes Cranmer, all true, but we must understand the REAL reason why the state of state education is so incredibly bad. this in spite of many years of practice, and the wasting/spending of countless trillions of borrowed cash.

The obvious reason, is that state schools, can not select their inmates.


The most important reason is that state schools are under SOCIALIST political control, and have always been so.

This requires that schools MUST by force of LAW, follow policies that do not EDUCATE children, in as many ways as the establishment elites can manage to get away with.

However unbelievably evil this may make our establishment seem to be, may I suggest it is indeed the undeniable fact of the matter?

The establishment does not want to educate the vast majority. This because an educated, free thinking, generally productive, therefore largely self-reliant and wealthy population, is perfectly the last thing our ruling elite could possibly want, or wish for.

The ruling class need a small proportion of reasonably educated highly waged SLAVES, to keep control of the plebs, and run their corporations for them.

They also need a sizable amount of useless underclass to keep their police and judicial system in a job. While also holding down the quality of life and standards of living of their more 'useful' upper and middle-class.

Unfortunately for them they also need a few hard working, and over taxed self employed idiots like myself, to change their tap washers for them, and put the odd lick of paint, over their stately home.

The odd foreign cleaner, c..k su...r, or baby minder/wet nurse also comes in handy.

The rest of common humanity can go swing their proverbial hood, as far as our ruling elites are concerned. This because they now have all the slaves they need, to pointlessly work themselves to death in their sweat shops and arms factories, in places such as China and India.

Do we really need any more evidence that SOCIALISM and the TRADES UNIONS that finance its political existence. Are respectively invented by the establishment, and wholly corrupted by same. Therefore wittingly or otherwise working for their supposed sworn enemy, even more then conservatism and conservatives are?

I contend that it is painfully, and self apparently obvious, that they must be.

Atlas shrugged

28 July 2009 at 22:33  
Anonymous ian said...

Perhaps there is a case for bringing back the old Direct Grant Grammars. Yes, they were fee paying, at a much more affordable rate, but they had to provide a large proportion of scholarships, if i'm not mistaken, 25%. My old school can't match the Brummie School for its number of Bishops, but included one President of USA in Congress Assembled, one Archbishop of York and one Acid Bath Murderer amd many more of equally illustrious claims to fame. More to the point it provoded a route for working and middle class boys into higher education and the professions. The taking away of the direct grant was the first act of vandalism, ther have been many since. Perhaps a new tory government should bring them back.

30 July 2009 at 11:01  

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