This is great fun. All is well in our schools because:
I was assigned to Chris Brolly, a Teach First-er in his third year. His 12- and 13-year-olds have been inventing a product – bottled water – and it\’s my task to help them write a press release. Can they create their own USP, write a grabby headline, hold the fleeting attention of a journalist, persuade with seductive language?
Yes, because 12 year olds are being taught how to write a press release.
Then there\’s Polly\’s famed connection with statistics:
But only a third of pupils who get good GCSE grades are on free school meals. A YouGov poll finds most voters don\’t think poorer children will ever get an equal education. Gove, calling for payment by results, cited Singapore\’s high-achieving school system, \”where expectations are higher\”. What he didn\’t say is that Singapore, like top performer Finland, is one of the most equal of developed nations. As his government drives up inequality, his schools face an ever tougher task compensating for the society they inhabit.
We generally measure inequality by Gini. 0.25 or so is Scandinavian style lots of equality (I am using the figures after the impact of the tax and benefit systems, of course). Above 0.35 or so is about the US and worse than the UK, 0.45, there\’s only one OECD country that bad, Chile, above 0.50 or so is Brazilian style oligarchy.
Finland is in there with Scandi style 0.26 or so.
So, we seem to have one of the most equal and one of the most unequal countries managing to provide a very fine education to the kiddies. We might thererfore conclude that inequality is not the determinant of providing a fine education. Death of Polly\’s point, eh?