Thursday, 17 January 2013

Scraping The Bottom Of The (Biscuit) Barrel...

The Guardian's obsession with academies marches on, forever dragging up reasons for them to be considered not just unwelcome, but somehow dangerous to comprehensives schools, like they were nuclear reactors with poor containment:
Many academies have covertly selected pupils for years in ways that the despised state schools that preceded them were not able to do, and then trumpeted improved results as though they were due to the academy idea unleashing dear old Greatness. They have to abide by an admissions code, but everyone in the trade knows ways round it. Others have been using their greater power to exclude pupils as a way of clearing out difficult children.
And yet parents don't seem to see this as a bad thing. How odd! They can't seem to see the 'danger' they are un!
By using their power to select covertly, academies promote the creation of two classes of school: the "good" schools, the academies, and the sink schools, run by the local authority. Give academies another couple of decades, and we will have revived the long-discredited secondary moderns.

However, in their desire to find sticks with which to beat academies, I think they might have jumped the shark here:
More than a million children at academies and free schools could be eating unhealthy lunches because those institutions are exempt from tough food standards, council leaders have warned.
Note the usual weasel words - 'could be'.
Academies and free schools which opt out of national regulations are failing in their moral duty to ensure pupils receive healthy dinners, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).
Schools have 'moral duties' now? Gosh! Really?
David Simmonds, chairman of LGA's children and young people board, said: "School autonomy is supposed to drive up standards but in the case of school meals, we now have a two-tier system where one type of school can effectively exempt pupils from healthy choices and instead sell fatty and sugary foods. This threatens to seriously impact on the health and educational attainment of our children.
"We now need government to do its part by introducing an acceptable food standard that will allow councils to hold all schools to account for the nutritional quality of food they serve their pupils."
Well, since they loathe the very idea of choice in the school you send your child to itself, it's no surprise they'd be desperate to disallow any chance that your child might have some choice within that school that's not open to those under their own control, is it?


Anonymous said...

The Grauniad has always been the warm, dark place where the moonbats congregrate

Komprehensiv Faylure said...

Great discredited leftwing ideas of our time number 1: "By mixing low attainers with high strivers in comprehensives, the poor achievers will be spurred to try harder" promised Marxist 'academics' and 'experts'

The reality turned out to be somewhat different, but hey, don't fret, peasants! It's your kids satisfying the lefty experiments and not theirs. Their over-indulged offspring are safely in private schools while the champagne socialists watch your kids struggle in the comprehensive system they dreamed up.

Just get on with it and stop thinking you have a choice!

Anonymous said...


The Guardian is right, as the privileged, public school and Oxbridge educated Tony Crosland said, that Grammar Schools held back working class children and he wanted them abolished. It can be in no way interpretted that he was ensuring not very bright (but very well trained) privileged children did not have to compete with the oiks from the grammar schools. No, not at all, perish the thought.

Quiet_Man said...

Not all leftists believe the Grauniad position.

But Harry's Place is sadly a minority.

MTG said...

Grammar Schools gave meritocracy free rein and the Privileged an all-too-brief thrashing.

Anonymous said...

'Not all leftists believe the Grauniad position.'

When it comes to their own dear offspring, near on 100% disagree.

John M said...

I just love the way that David Simmonds of the LGA makes the conclusion jump of deducing that because an academy is not forced to offer healthy choices then automatically that they all are.

With intelligence like that it's no wonder that parents strive to keep thier little darlings in academies and away from the schools managed by Mr Simmonds and his friends.

I would be worried myself that his stupidity is so great it could be contagious. Indeed surely all LGA employees are as thick as him (if one were to follow his own logic)

John Tee said...

I wonder - if the council-run schools spent less time worrying about what kids eat and more time teaching, then maybe their results would be better?

James Higham said...

That terrible word which has them quaking in their collective boots - choice.

JuliaM said...

"Great discredited leftwing ideas of our time number 1..."

One hell of a long list!

"Not all leftists believe the Grauniad position."

That's one writer at Harry's Place. As you can see in the comments, it's not something even their readers agree on!

"I just love the way that David Simmonds of the LGA makes the conclusion jump of deducing that because an academy is not forced to offer healthy choices then automatically that they all are."

It's because they know what they'd do if freed from state interference, perhaps?

Disenfranchised of Buckingham said...

The lefty anti-selective selection is simple to understand. They don't want oiks competing with their kids.

With comprehensives you have selection by house price. So they can have a nice bien pensant enclave with a good school without the horror of admitting they want segregated education.