And then along came Gove with yet another wheeze: the return of a two-tier examination system. This time with New! Added Academic Rigour (who can oppose academic rigour?) so demanding that only children taught in the tiny classes that can’t be found outside the Independent and Public School System can possibly be guaranteed to Pass the new O Level. Well worth the fees then…
Watch out for the word “Pass”. The word “Pass” is bandied about freely by the ignorant and probably by the Russell Group of Universities for the Posh who seem unable to appreciate the value of examinations as a method of recognising the achievement of every child as opposed to an efficient method of swiftly and reliably separating the fee-paying sheep and their imitators in the remaining Grammar Schools from the rest of the kids that us Goats produce.
It is becoming clear that Gove’s Radical Agenda is leading (backwards) to deliver the reinvention of the Grammar School that the backwoods Tories crave but which the rest of the electorate won’t accept just yet. Backwards because this time the new two-tier O Levels and CSEs would be introduced first, with surely the appropriate two-tier school system to follow quickly.
Watch, when the present, increasingly chaotic and change-afflicted school system “fails” to deliver social mobility via “academic rigour” the cry will go out across the land for the return of the 11 plus and the opening of Grammar Schools (maybe called Something Else Academies”) purposely designed to bring back renewed social mobility to those mutant working class goats whose unaccountably large brains and energy are so necessary for the spicing and replenishment of the upper echelons of Trade, Industry and The Armed Forces. They’ll never quite be Officers Mess class but they’ll be there and who could really argue with that?
I could. You will read plenty of articles from journalists and politicians who will reject Gove’s big idea because they went through the experience of rejection, being dumped into a secondary modern and being labelled thick. And never realIy stopped being angry, no matter how much they have achieved since.
I can’t do that. I passed the 11+.
Elsewhere on this little website I’ll tell you soon how. And all about the appallingly petty, cruel, homophobic, violent, sadistic and elitist Rugby School-aping Mitcham Grammar School for Boys that took six months to utterly destroy my innocent belief in human nature and in myself before depositing me 6 years later onto the labour market with four poor GCSEs that didn’t include Maths. I didn’t see much social mobility on the way, unless you count the boys who joined us from Western Road secondary modern in the 6th form because they’d achieved better O Levels than many of us…
Anything I achieved I achieved in spite of Mtcham Grammar School not because of it.
This time not only hadn’t the Liberal Democrats not been consulted – why consult your poodle? – but it seems neither had the Boss whose job you’d like one day soon. I suspect that as time creeps by and more of Mr Gove The Thinker reveals more of his Great Thoughts the right of the Tory party (who despise Cameron even more than they despise Clegg even more than they despise Milliband…) will become even more enthusiastic that this Radical Thinker be given the top job.
These things will work themselves out slowly, until they go fast. The rest of us can only hope that our children’s and grand children’s education doesn’t join the NHS in collapsing under the weight of Idiot Fatigue.
And then I switch on the news this morning to learn that Cameron is seeking to reassert himself among the right of his party by…ending housing benefit for the Under-25s. For the young the 1950’s are already back: very little chance of a job, no chance of saving the deposit for a home, rents sky-high, no worthwhile face to face careers advice, no ladder out of the poverty that Ian Duncan-Smith is busy redefining, and now any hope of social mobility being denied precisely in the name of social mobility. Conscription next…
Idiots: aren’t you tired of them?!?