Thursday, July 19, 2007

Those long summer holidays

It seems it is not only CentreForum that disapproves of long summer holidays for poor children. Conor Clarke was at it in the Guardian this morning:
But summer vacation isn't just harmful; it's deeply unfair. That's because it affects economically disadvantaged students the most. Wealthy kids already start school with boatloads of educational advantages - like parents that can help them with homework, pay for private instruction or shuttle them off to a variety of wonderful and edifying after-school activities. Poor students don't, and at no point is this difference more stark - and at no point do its consequences grow more quickly - than during summer.
Of course, some youngsters cannot cope with long summer holidays. The same issue of the Guardian reports the death of a public school boy at Polzeath in Cornwall, and goes on to say:
The boy's death, which is not being viewed as suspicious, follows a week of alcohol-fuelled violence at the north Cornwall resort, which attracts up to 1,000 public schoolboys and girls early in the summer holidays.

The resort, and the nearby village of Rock, became popular among well-heeled teenagers celebrating the end of term after Prince William and Harry partied there in their teens. Locals have branded the public schoolchildren "snob yobs" or "terrier toffs", and local police, who use two dedicated police officers to patrol the area between 10pm and 3am, have banned alcohol and issue dispersal orders to try to prevent beach parties.

In the past week there have been 17 arrests, eight fixed penalties for disorder and three drugs warnings. Revellers have ransacked a makeshift beachside police station and vandalised three cars and a police van. A teenager also fractured his skull in a fight with rival schoolboys. Three schoolboys may be charged.

The police officer leading the inquiry, Detective constable Nigel Hoare, said the death of George Frewer "was always going to happen ... because of what goes on in Polzeath every year. It is a terrible tragedy."
I wonder who will be the first to call for summer classes for children from rich families?

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