New Labour’s latest dog’s breakfast

Wonderful column by Ted Wragg in today’s Education Guardian on the new Education Bill. Excerpt:

Let me work out the logic. There will be a verbal IQ test, on the basis of which final-year primary school pupils will be assigned to one of nine ability bands. Then equal numbers from each band, about 11% a time, will go to each school. Ah, so children will actually be assigned to a secondary school. Fine.

No, wait a minute. Parental choice is paramount. Parents will choose which of 10 types of specialist school they would like their child to attend. So it’s all about choice then. Except that the government wants schools to opt out from local authority control and decide their own admissions policy. I’ve got it, at last. Schools will decide.

Hang on. Parents can even start up their own school. They will really be in the driving seat in schools. Yes, yes, I see now. It is parent power, after all. Yet if your children are outside the quota for their band, then a fleet of buses will ferry them across town, presumably to a school they didn’t want to go to.

Er, I’m confused again. I think I’ll just brush up my Spanish and get my “linguist” scout badge instead.

Kenneth Baker, sorry, Tony Blair, is very keen on grant-maintained schools, oops, silly me, trust schools, and wants to set up city technology colleges galore, er, I mean, city academies.

He goes on…

To call these proposals “a dog’s breakfast” would be to insult Britain’s pet owners, who take care to feed Bowser a balanced diet. They are the ultimate disaster from the No 10 wheeze factory. Leave Tony Zoffis free all summer to dream up a barrel of monumental bollocks, and this is what ensues.