Poor children let down by the current education system

October 16, 2008 10:41 AM

The Telegraph reports an incredible gap in educational performance between more and less affluent areas:

"Figures from the Tories show just 3.3 per cent of teenagers in one area of Bradford, which includes the deprived Holme Wood estate, left school in 2007 with five A* to C grades including England and mathematics.


By comparison, another estate in the city saw 86.3 per cent of pupils leave school with a string of good qualifications."

Of course, it isn't just the quality of the schools that gives children from more prosperous families an advantage.  However, there is clearly a huge gulf opening up thanks to a system where places in good schools are rationed according to the family's ability to afford a home near them.


Some will suggest that the proper response is some new and devious way of rationing school places, a lottery perhaps, that will finally stop the middle classes being able to secure the best school places for their children.  All that would do is share the pain of a substandard education.


A much, much better solution would be to free up the education system so that the best schools can offer more places or new schools can be set up to replace the failing ones.  The competitive pressure would force the worst schools to sharpen up or close.

The Telegraph reports an incredible gap in educational performance between more and less affluent areas:

"Figures from the Tories show just 3.3 per cent of teenagers in one area of Bradford, which includes the deprived Holme Wood estate, left school in 2007 with five A* to C grades including England and mathematics.


By comparison, another estate in the city saw 86.3 per cent of pupils leave school with a string of good qualifications."

Of course, it isn't just the quality of the schools that gives children from more prosperous families an advantage.  However, there is clearly a huge gulf opening up thanks to a system where places in good schools are rationed according to the family's ability to afford a home near them.


Some will suggest that the proper response is some new and devious way of rationing school places, a lottery perhaps, that will finally stop the middle classes being able to secure the best school places for their children.  All that would do is share the pain of a substandard education.


A much, much better solution would be to free up the education system so that the best schools can offer more places or new schools can be set up to replace the failing ones.  The competitive pressure would force the worst schools to sharpen up or close.

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