Schools and schooling

Jimmy had a gentle dig at me over my comments about educational results in this post, to be fair Jimmy has shown a degree of humor in his comments so I won’t take them too much too heart.

I know that the subject of schools will come up in the future and I might as well cover my views on the subject now.

Jimmy’s point was that I didn’t care about the state school system because my boys were going to private school. Firstly this is a very hollow argument, I like to think that I have both empathy and sympathy for those in situations other than my own.

I am not gay but I support gay marriage, I am fairly well of but still want to fight poverty, my boys are going to a private school but I still want to improve the quality of education for those who cannot afford what I can afford.

I will not play politics with the future life chances of my children, not now, not ever. They are more important to me than anything else and if that means that I open myself up to a degree of attack, so be it. There is nothing hypocritical about my position, I would love to give everyone enough financial freedom to decide whether they wanted to send their children to a private school or not. I also want to give parents the choice of state school if that is what they want.

A lot of parents are wreaked with guilt about the state school/private school decision and go through extraordinary lengths to square the circle. Moving to a better catchment area, lying about their religious convictions, paying for after school tutors or driving across town adding to pollution and congestion just so that they can say “Of course Timmy goes to a state school”.

Colfe’s is my “family” school, it means a huge amount to me that my sons will go to the school that I went to and that my uncles went to (my dad didn’t get in) and that my friend teaches at.

I make no apology.

18 responses to “Schools and schooling

  1. Of course you are free to send your children wherever you wish and no apology necessary. I wish I was rich enough to do the same when I have children (although I might not even if I was rich, but that is my personal choice).However, it is unfair to attack increased education spending http://jamescleverly.blogspot.com/2006/03/increase-in-education-spending.html when you choose to spend far more on your own childrens’ education. Why not increase spending in all schools to public school levels? We know it won’t be ‘value for money’ but that hardly matters when you are dealing with your own children. Choice in schools is so much less important than money in schools, and I would know – I went to a state school under Thatcher.

  2. Of course you are free to send your children wherever you wish and no apology necessary. I wish I was rich enough to do the same when I have children (although I might not even if I was rich, but that is my personal choice).However, it is unfair to attack increased education spending http://jamescleverly.blogspot.com/2006/03/increase-in-education-spending.html when you choose to spend far more on your own childrens’ education. Why not increase spending in all schools to public school levels? We know it won’t be ‘value for money’ but that hardly matters when you are dealing with your own children. Choice in schools is so much less important than money in schools, and I would know – I went to a state school under Thatcher.

  3. Jimmy,You have absolutely hit the Conservative philosophical nail on the head.You wish you had enough money to choose where and how your children are educated. So do I, that’s why I am a Conservative. I am not attacking increased spending, I am attacking falling standards. Increasing spending without reforming the system is wasteful.If your bucket has a hole in it, poring water in more quickly will not fix the hole.

  4. Jimmy,You have absolutely hit the Conservative philosophical nail on the head.You wish you had enough money to choose where and how your children are educated. So do I, that’s why I am a Conservative. I am not attacking increased spending, I am attacking falling standards. Increasing spending without reforming the system is wasteful.If your bucket has a hole in it, poring water in more quickly will not fix the hole.

  5. You have no reason to apologise. Conservatives send their children to private schools, unless DC is attempting to change your party’s position on this as well. It was a Labour government that introduced the comprehensive system and the Open University, whilst the Tories sat by and looked after those who could afford what they could afford. Why should the current crop of Tories be any different?

  6. You have no reason to apologise. Conservatives send their children to private schools, unless DC is attempting to change your party’s position on this as well. It was a Labour government that introduced the comprehensive system and the Open University, whilst the Tories sat by and looked after those who could afford what they could afford. Why should the current crop of Tories be any different?

  7. Josh,

    Never get let facts get in the way of a good rant eh. I think you’ll find the the first chapion of free schools (ragged schools) was Lord Shaftesbury and he was a……

    Tory!

  8. Josh,

    Never get let facts get in the way of a good rant eh. I think you’ll find the the first chapion of free schools (ragged schools) was Lord Shaftesbury and he was a……

    Tory!

  9. And it was Tory councils who did everything they could to cling on to their grammar schools (much of Kent being a good example of this) when comprehensive schools were introduced.

    How about this slogan for the new look Tory party – the Tories…champions of free schools although we would never dream of sending our kids to them.

  10. And it was Tory councils who did everything they could to cling on to their grammar schools (much of Kent being a good example of this) when comprehensive schools were introduced.

    How about this slogan for the new look Tory party – the Tories…champions of free schools although we would never dream of sending our kids to them.

  11. Josh,

    They’re not “our grammar schools”. If, as you say, Conservatives send their children to private schools fighting for their continuation must be for the benefit of everyone else.

  12. Josh,

    They’re not “our grammar schools”. If, as you say, Conservatives send their children to private schools fighting for their continuation must be for the benefit of everyone else.

  13. Eh? Let’s get this straight..You’re a London Tory who believes in private education and grammar schools. Time to move to the suburbs methinks.

  14. Eh? Let’s get this straight..You’re a London Tory who believes in private education and grammar schools. Time to move to the suburbs methinks.

  15. Like you, I have just deposited my boys at their new private school, and in doing so realised my proudest ambition. I will never apologise for that.

    Like you also, I am a local Councillor, and will at some point require to help those in the state system or speak about the state system.

    I too am going to find time this week to explain on my blog why sending my own children to a private school does not exclude me from the debate on education and why it does not mean that I care any less about the poverty of education in this country.

  16. Like you, I have just deposited my boys at their new private school, and in doing so realised my proudest ambition. I will never apologise for that.

    Like you also, I am a local Councillor, and will at some point require to help those in the state system or speak about the state system.

    I too am going to find time this week to explain on my blog why sending my own children to a private school does not exclude me from the debate on education and why it does not mean that I care any less about the poverty of education in this country.

  17. Cheers Richard,

    I am and have always been passionate about improving our education system. My choice of school for my children does not detract from that and I think that people should never be made to feel guilty about doing what they feel is the best for their children.

    BTW, I am not a councillor I had a crack at directly elected Mayor but didn’t get in.

  18. Cheers Richard,

    I am and have always been passionate about improving our education system. My choice of school for my children does not detract from that and I think that people should never be made to feel guilty about doing what they feel is the best for their children.

    BTW, I am not a councillor I had a crack at directly elected Mayor but didn’t get in.

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