Saturday, July 14, 2012

Nick Clegg pledges no two-tier system in education

Liberal England comes to you from a hotel bedroom in York with a slightly flaky Internet connection.

Before I left home I sent the following tweet:
I'm against a two-tier system in education says Westminster Old Boy ‪#slfconf‬
Some people on Twitter have interpreted this as an attack on Nick Clegg, but if it was an attack on anyone it was an attack on his audience.

We already have a two-tier system because Britain today is dominated by the products of private schools. This is not so surprising. In a contest between a ruthlessly competitive private system and a public system where egalitarianism is the greatest virtue, there is only going to be one winner.

In the light of this it is a little silly for Nick to set his face against a two-tier system when we already have one. But I am more concerned that this was so clearly what his audience wanted to hear.

Social Liberals - indeed all Liberals - should be looking to make changes so that young people leaving state schools do better and looking for ways to break down the Berlin Wall between the two systems.

I am replying here because the Internet connection is so unreliable and I cannot be sure of getting replies through on Twitter.

But I am on holiday and blogging is likely to be self-indulgent for a while. I passed the birthplace of W.H. Auden on the way from station to the hotel, for instance.

Later. I have just found a post (sometimes an argument needs more than 140 characters) on the same theme.

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