Cllr Neil Wilson,
There have been many times over the past few years when those of us who slogged our guts out for a Conservative Government in 2010 may have cried ourselves to sleep at night, before dreaming of the radical changes a Conservative majority in 2010 would have brought.
Wednesday evening, when it became clear that the EBacc was being ditched was one of those occasions.
Some readers of this blog may feel that government has no place in education full stop. Others may dwell upon Friedman’s ‘neighbourhood effect’ and consider a limited curriculum, school vouchers and a mixture of schools promoting social mobility to be the key.
However, we are where we are. For me, the EBacc was a step in the right direction. It rolled back the scope of secondary education quite substantially on subjects which are, frankly, pointless, and have little place in an education system so long as it remains compulsory and state-funded, were getting kicked into the long grass. No more would emphasis be placed on pupils’ ability to prance around in drama class or draw with charcoal.
It also increased competition in the field of the exam board. Not the type of competition that has seen multiple boards attempting to offer the easiest exams, but the type that would have seen each board bidding for five year contracts, with presumably the cost being a factor.
Sadly it was not to be. The statist establishment bullies, aided and abetted by the lily-livered, visionless crackpots who masquerade as an excuse for one half of a Government, eventually have had their way. And, as much as it saddens me to say, Michael Gove capitulated to them.
But why? Well firstly, there were the purveyors of the ‘creative arts’. They moaned that the 20% of school time left over after pupils had finished learning stuff of use, would not be enough for sufficient recorder playing. If the arts were to carry on robbing the low paid to subsidise ballet, recitals and other niche entertainment then the arts needed to remain.
Then other publicly subsidised bodies staked their claim on the lives of the young. The Football Association, British Cycling and UK Athletics Association argued for PE to be the sixth tier, which would have actually elevated running around in the freezing cold to a place it doesn’t presently occupy in most schools.
Opposition from the socialist corner came mostly from the fact that some pupils would favour the prancing, charcoal drawing and outdoor subjects and would therefore be relegated to a ‘second tier’.
Substantive changes to GCSEs really aren’t good enough. This is policy based, not around pushing the brightest and best of all backgrounds to fulfill their full potential but around ensuring that the Lib Dems continue to feel warm and cozy inside.
They are a party that has spent its whole time in office refusing to make the changes necessary to sort the country out but their self appointed-role as an honest broker between the people with ideas that will put people in control of their lives and Lib Dem voters is starting to wear a bit thin. The whole country is being held to ransom by a few strategists in Great George Street who come equipped with a reluctance to let the Lib Dems have a part in any decision that will play badly with their 2010 voters. By sucking up to the unions and other organisations that demand our money on a daily basis, common sense is being undermined.
At the moment the only agenda being served is the big-government one. It’s about time the Conservatives in Government wised up to this reality and told the Lib Dems where to go.