They just don\’t get it, do they?

Impenetrable \”clusters of privilege\” are forming around the best state schools, Barnardo\’s, Britain\’s biggest children\’s charity, warns today. Poorer families are losing out to better-off neighbours who move house or attend church to get a better education.

Unfair admissions practices result in schools with skewed intakes that do not reflect their neighbourhoods, Barnardo\’s says, citing research that indicates the top secondary schools in England take on average just 5% of pupils entitled to free school meals.

It\’s a little difficult to see how both these can be true….that the rich move into neighbourhoods around good schools thus creating enclaves, yet also the school ends up not reflecting the number of poor around. One or the other: the poor get excluded becuase of house prices and thus there are no poor in the catchment area, surely?

But the larger point seems to be escaping these people entirely.

Yes, human beings will do a lot for their kids, yes, those with greater resources will do more for them than those with fewer.

That\’s something engrained within human beings. For wanting to be able to do a lot for your kids is one of the reasons people go out and acquire those greater resources.

And it doesn\’t matter how you try to rig the market to stop this, people will always game whatever system you put in place.

Complaining that the pushy get better access to a good provided free by the State is simply pissing in the wind.

11 thoughts on “They just don\’t get it, do they?”

  1. Banardo’s seems to be wanting to distort to correct a distortion (wealthy moving) caused by another distortion (poor quality schools) caused by another distortion (lack of space spaces) caused by another distortion (state monopoly over education).

    Better they campaigned to end the monopoly in State education and so unravel all the other distortions. That way we would see bad schools close or reform and thus most if not all kids will be in walking distance of a pretty good neighbourhood school.

    But no, that would be too simple, now, wouldn’t it…

    p.s. IIRC grinding poverty never stopped people attending church in the past and some of our most poor and isolated immigrants attend church/mosque. File that one in the “can’t be arsed” bin, mfraid.

  2. The less parents in general do (or are allowed to do) for their children the more work there is for Barnardos. If every parent abandoned their children, then Barnardos would have to expand considerably (though I’ve no idea who would fund them in such a society). They are talking their own book.

  3. Why are they complaining now?

    That nice Mr Gove has the solution, free up schools from the LEAs and let people set up their own.

    As a parent starting to worry about the education of my children, I find the attitude of the egalitarians amazing.

    For me, their education is number one priority, yet they tell me that is not allowed. I can spend my hard earned cash on spoiling them rotten, but not on buying a house near a good school, because that’s not fair. Even if I purchase the education directly, its still not fair.

  4. “…schools with skewed intakes that do not reflect their neighbourhoods…”

    Can anyone tell me why that should even be a concern? Anyone? Bueller?

  5. What the Spirit Levellers don’t get is that wealth is not the cause of better performing children; it’s that the sort of people who are (one or all of) ambitious/diligent/determined will tend to instil those values in their children.

    Of course, if they are proposing selecting pupils based on ability rather than mortgage, then I would agree … as a former grammar school pupil. I suspect that’s not quite what they’re getting at though.

  6. The point is, these people should not be complaining about kids of wealthy parents going to good schools. They should be concerned about how to improve the schools that are currently good.

    You could, through quotas and whatever meddling, enforce the few good schools to take more poor pupils. But the impact will be symbolic, nothing else.

    What you really need to do is find out what should be done to failing schools, on a massive scale.

  7. The BBC is touting the idea as good because making a school take “all ability sectors” will improve things for the less able kids…

    I was under the impression that far from improving things for the less intelligent kids, all it did was make things worse for the bright ones.

  8. Oh come off it, Pogo; everyone knows that if you put a couple of good apples in a barrel of rotten apples, the…
    Oh, maybe that’s not right.

  9. Pogo:

    “I was under the impression that far from improving things for the less intelligent kids, all it did was make things worse for the bright ones.”

    The lefties at the BBC, just like the lefties everywhere else, are fully conversant with this. The levelling down of outcomes is what they wanted all along, which is why they destroyed the state grammar system.

  10. Well, if you can’t move close to a good state school in the UK, you can always move to Australia (if you did well at school). Private schools are affordable for many here (1 in 3 pupils attend private schools) because the government provides significant funding. It is still a bargain for the government as it pays $11,874 for each state student compared with an average $5810 for private school students. We pay about $8000 per year fees although it can be about twice that in the big cities. One advantage is that when your kids head off to uni there is no pain because you’ve already been paying a sizable sum each year, the other advantage being that they are likely to get to the uni of their choice to study the degree of their choice.

    Despite class envy from some in the unions and the Labor Party, even Labor governments know that taking away that funding would result in a mass exodus from private schools which would cripple the state sector.

    I shall never apologise for giving my kids the best opportunities in life I can (thanks to my UK grammar school education).

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