News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Lib Dem education policy - survival of the weakest

The Lib Dem Education & Skills spokesman, Sarah Teather MP, has today proposed that schools should be bribed to take failing pupils. Such a policy is shear insanity, and nothing less than I would expect from the Lib Dems. It amounts to punishing those who are most successful. In Kent, the most able are rightly given the opportunity to attend Grammar Schools, where they can be stretched to their full abilities. If the Lib Dems' proposals were to come into force (which fortunately they won't, of course) our brightest would be held back as the teachers' time is concentrated on those who are not able to keep up with the pace of learning.

Moreover, often (although by no means always) those who are least able are so because they are disruptive and elect not to learn. We would be able to look forward to our entire education system grinding to a halt if this potty plan was enforced.

A better solution would be to remove those who are most disruptive from mainstream classes, allowing the teachers to teach those who are willing to learn, rather than ignoring them while trying to babysit those who are not. The disruptive pupils would also benefit from the greater attention and strict sense of discipline which their teachers would be free to instil into them. That wouldn't suit the Lib Dems, for whom failure is a tradition.

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