On schooling and social(ist) mobility

Britain lacks the education system to provide high-class candidates for the job market. Is it any wonder when the Left wants a 'something for nothing' culture?

by David Atherton on 1 July 2013 12:29

The BBC, with Stephanie Flanders, has recently gnashed its teeth on the lack of social mobility in this country. I would prefer we talked about creating a meritocracy, but they are of course related issues, or they should be.

The abolition of grammar schools is quite rightly cited as one of the major reasons for the problems we now face. In the 1950s and 1960s, 20 percent of all children went to grammars, even in deprived areas such as Liverpool. Subsequently, over 50 percent of Oxbridge students were state educated.

Baroness Shirley Williams and the late Anthony Crosland have much to be ashamed of for destroying the future for millions of working class people.  

I am probably one of the least academic writers here at The Commentator. I too failed my 11+ and have just one A Level, grade E in Economics to my name. Nevertheless, I am passionately pro- grammar school, partly based on my experiences at a state comprehensive. Children deserve better.

Being brought up to work hard at school, sitting in mixed ability classes either bored or where large sections of the time in class were spent keeping order, showing any aptitude or willingness was deeply un-cool and engendered social ostracisation for some.

Complementing this were my own experiences of sending my children to a state primary school in Hackney. The old school Headmistress insisted upon the Nativity Play at Christmas for all pupils and presided over a parents' evening to discuss their child’s progress which was always sparsely attended. An education seemed little to matter to them.

Looking at the war zone of the local comprehensives, I remortgaged the house and sent my daughter to a private school.

From having lived in working class areas for 30 years, the indifference to education is also -- whether it is from an inferiority complex or instilled social mores --  leading to a situation in which many i've met just do not want to climb the ladder. Coupled with a welfare system which seems for many a hammock rather than a safety net, I can only conclude that the lack of social mobility is habitually self inflicted.

My piece on Immigration Let’s Have More irked one commenter --  'Fubar_Saunders', an unemployed IT worker applying "for fifteen, twenty, thirty, forty roles every single day".  That was in reference to my slightly flippant remark that as someone who works in computer recruitment I rely heavily on foreign applicants.

I am currently looking for three web PHP developers, salary and package up to £60,000 to work in Central London. We must have spent forty hours; a whole week trying to find suitable people, mainly on British databases. Our best hopes are a Lithuanian and a Slovenian.

To the socialists, their client educationalists, and government, we do not have the education infrastructure to produce the right calibre professionals and skills. But dumbed down exams, inadequate comprehensives, and the stay-where-you-are-we’ll-look-after-you mentality of the Left, are the real root causes of the problem.

Social mobility is a lip service that they are seen mouthing in the mirror. Meanwhile, the poor continue to suffer.

blog comments powered by Disqus