Mirror Mirror on the Wall

1-141247338_bd29e3064c_oWho writes the most ridiculous nonsense of them all?

This week’s prize for the most irresponsible piece of journalism has been awarded to 61 year-old blonde bombshell Carole Malone from the Daily Mirror, who obviously knows all there is to know about schools as she probably recently drove past one.

So, as an avid Daily Mirror subscriber who faithfully believes everything it reads, this is what All Change Please! now firmly knows to be true:

1. England’s top 500 state schools are now better than the top 500 public schools. Despite the use of just a little bit of statistical distortion.

2. That’s fantastic news.

3. Children from deprived, working-class areas are now getting as good an education as kids at Eton. Yes, really.

3. Teachers viciously opposed Michael Gove, and were responsibly for him being unjustly sacked.

4. Now there’s no such thing as grade inflation anymore.

5. And students now only take serious, traditional academic subjects that enable them to find jobs. Well anyway, to get to university and keep the unemployment figures down a bit while they run up a huge debt.

6. In the past some children who could have got A*s only got G’s or U’s, probably because teachers used so-called ‘progressive’ methods.

7. However, at the same time, these teachers mysteriously managed to beat the exam board system and somehow got them to award the ‘thickest’ kids A* grades just for turning up to school.

8. Jeremy Corben is ‘stupid’ because he thinks academies have failed, because a single set of highly dubious manipulated statistics undeniably prove once and for all that they are a great success.

9. Teachers believe that all exams should be banned on the basis that no pupil should be made to feel shame or disappointment for getting a low grade.

10. Shame drives children to work harder.

11. What we need are Chinese teaching methods.

12. Children need to be studying for 12 hours a day, and shouldn’t expect to enjoy any of it.

So, thanks Carole for feeding your readers all that misinformation. But maybe in a few years’ time, instead of their children getting accepted into Oxbridge, they are going to be just a little bit disappointed when their children fail their new more academically rigorous GCSEs and find there’s no other option other than to become a NEET. Still, never mind, it will all be their teacher’s fault won’t it?

Meanwhile it was good to see in the online vote that around 70% of your readers didn’t believe you when you claimed that state school kids now get an education to match private schools. But what is disturbing is that you seem to have managed to convince some 30% that they do. Oh! Carole…


But wait! It seems Carole is not alone. Here’s the Express’s James Delingpole, who obviously also knows all there is to know about schools because he’s read Carole’s column in the Mirror. He seems to be a rather confused man, because he’s celebrating the success of fellow parents’ children in passing some GCSEs and thus gaining entry to exactly the sort of useless non-academic vocational courses that the Government so despises. And then there’s the usual nonsense:

“It was all such a far cry from the bad old days of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, when the main job of the education system seemed to be to teach your kids virtually nothing, reward them with absurdly overgenerous exam grades, and then pack them off to run up huge debts at “uni” reading something utterly pointless like media studies.

Our schools were hijacked by progressives in thrall to trendy theories like “child-centred learning”, “non-competitive sports days” and the “all shall have prizes” ethos.

…It is terribly old fashioned – and that’s why we parents like it: because it has restored to education an almost Victorian sense of purpose which we thought had been destroyed forever.”

“That same sense of purpose from a long-lost golden age when the majority of children left school at 10 and went straight to work in the factories”, he didn’t add. Oh! James…


Background image credit: Flickr/starleigh


What’s good for the goose?


All Change Please! recently posted ‘Gove to abolish ABC‘ after the announcement that he was about to improve educational standards across the country by substituting numbers for letters. Is there no limit to his genius? Apparently not, as further details have recently been published about the new lucky number system, and the return to ‘iGove’ level non-coursework examinations for all.

Now All Change Please! has pointed out before that there are not many jobs in life that require expertise in sitting isolated in a hall, hand-writing a regurgitated load of fact-filled academic essays, but obviously this message has failed to reach the higher echelons of Whitehall. Therefore it is now proposing an alternative strategy in which we create employment opportunities that actually make use of this incredibly valuable skill-set that all our children are being equipped with.

So, for example, take government ministers. All Change Please! suggests that ministers should be prevented for making public speeches for two years (a truly excellent idea in itself?). At the end of this period, on a specified morning or afternoon, they will open a sealed envelope that will contain the name a Government Department. Then without any further preparation, they will immediately be required to deliver a three hour speech setting out proposed reform and justifying policy. No conferring with speech-writers, government officials or spin doctors will be allowed, or any access to external sources of information, or the use of a computer. A single member of the public will then judge their performance and award them a ‘number’. Those who achieve a 5, 6, 7 or 8 will be allowed to remain in Parliament and prepare for making another higher-level single speech in a further two years’ time. Those scoring a 4 or under will be required to stand down as an MP. What’s good for the goose…?

Talking of which, you really should have a gander at this from, of all places, the Daily Mirror…

Maconie on Michael Gove: Education Secretary not qualified to tell us how kids should be educated: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/stuart-maconie-michael-gove-education-1934791#.

And finally, news from an All Change Please! reader that a local primary school has gone from ‘good’ to ‘special measures’ within three years and must now convert to being an Academy.  When will the general public start to realise that the state education infrastructure is being rapidly dismantled and privatised, and our schools will soon be all run and resourced for purely commercial gain?

Update*  According to this report, it seems that some examination papers are being electronically marked in places such as Australia.  Therefore the above proposal is amended to read: ‘A single member of the public located in Australia will then judge their performance.’

Image credit: Flickr: Bertuz