Sunday, September 16, 2007

Ed Balls is telling porkies

According to Ed Balls in today's Observer 'the government has no policy to increase the number' of faith schools. What, since when? One of the driving forces behind Labour's schools policy in the last couple of years has been to increase the number and diversity of faith schools in order to increase parental choice (assuming the parents aren't humanists of course). If they don't want to increase the number of them, why, for instance, did they spend many thousands of tax payer pounds publishing a 24 page promotional booklet for faith schools just last week?

What confuses me is why take such a patently false line? It is not as if increasing the number of faith schools is unpopular except for with a small number of militant secularists like myself, who as a group are hardly catered for by the other parties anyway (true the Lib Dems are nominally committed to disestablishment, but I doubt if push came to shove we would actually do it). Yes the article he was responding to was pointing out that faith school's have a lower proportion of poorer and ethnic minority pupils than you would expect given their locations. But that's a bear shits in the woods story. The fact that C of E and Catholic schools use their admission procedures as a means of keeping the harder to teach out is one of the reasons many middle class parents like them.


Blogger Auberius said...

You have to love it when New Labour uses the "it is for local communities to decide" line as if government procurement rules weren't hopelessly rigged in favour of whatever decision has been taken at the centre.

Cheers for the heads up on the story.

1:38 pm  

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