Alan Johnson and Schools

Alan Johnson’s idea of sending individual teachers from private schools to state schools in the hope of raising standards is another typical piece of Labour tinkering and social engineering.  It will fail.
Good schools are more than individual teachers, however capable.  They are communities of teachers, pupils, parents and governors.  They represent a tradition of achievement, of discipline and of academic excellence; of curricula and selection criteria; of identity and aspiration.  They embody an ethos.  It is risible to suppose that you can transfer all of that by seconding one teacher to the indiscipline and profanity of a sink school.
In personal terms, it would be a grotesque act of cruelty to the teacher concerned.  It would also distract and diminish the private school without helping the state school.  You don’t make bad schools better by making good schools worse.
Alan Johnson should reflect on his implicit admission that state schools (by and large) suffer by comparison with the private sector.  He should then consider the reasons for poor performance in the state sector, and address those reasons.  He should not interfere with private schools that are doing an excellent job.

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2 Responses to Alan Johnson and Schools

  1. Rachel Joyce says:

    I absolutely agree Roger. A bit too long ago I attended both state and private schools. My children both attend state school.
    The difference is not the quality of the teaching. In fact, the state school teachers are not any better – often they are worse (mine certainly were!!). The teachers in my kids school are, on the whole, excellent.
    The difference is, as you said, the expectation of the pupils and their parents and teachers, the codes of behaviour and the more traditional style of education and etiquette. For instance, in private infant/ junior/ prep schools there is a real emphasis on table manners. In state schools, the order of the farm is considered perfectly acceptable.

  2. Isn’t it ironic that so many Labour MPs are against Grammar or private schools yet they and/or their children go/went to them.

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