…. two days into the official general election campaign, and the first heckle directed at one of the main party leaders, is about….. education.Thank God our election campaigns only last a month. There is just so much, well, shite spouted on all sides – hecklers and heckled, alike. And, when it comes to education, there’s a lot more heat than light generated (OK, very bad analogy). Our Prime Minister was asked by one Ben Butterworth (read about his motives on his all-too-inevitable blog) why his son couldn’t get into any of the schools of their choice. By blanking the man who challenged him, Gordon Brown did himself no favours with the TV cameras rolling: Perhaps he was just momentarily thrown, or under orders not to engage with the enemy. Or perhaps it was just too complicated an issue to engage in what would be a 10 second soundbite on tonight’s news. Some possible responses might have:
- highlighted the popularity of these schools as being a positive sign that Labour’s education policies are working;
- questioned how we define a good school – though, since the irate Mr Butterworth could only refer to English, Science and Maths results as being criteria, there would have been some measure of agreement here. A case of Labour’s definition of standards coming back to bite them………..
- pointed out that no system of school choice can guarantee every child gets the school they want. The only fool-proof system is to offer no choice, and we don’t want to go back to those days
- thought ‘What would John Precott have said?’
Oh, for the days of unguarded cut-and-thrust on the hustings:Never mind, Gordon, only another 29 days to go…….