Friday, 5 November 2010

The Uppal machine rolls on

He's back with the pointless questions once more. First off, a question about whether selective schools which become academies are allowed to remain selective.

The answer, of course, is that they are, because the Tories are covertly thrilled by the idea of more selection. Whenever schools are given total control over admissions, they select - overtly or covertly - for affluence and middle-classness. Catholic schools, for instance, have a much lower percentage of children on free school meals than non-denominational ones. It isn't that Catholics are much richer than anyone else, it's just that they've found ways to subtly screen out undesirables. Interviews, meetings with parents, expensive uniform requirements, lots of costly school trips - there are all sorts of tricks.

Lazy Paul doesn't express an opinion here, but I suspect that he wants to retain selection, especially on religious grounds. Delightful. Just what we need in an atmosphere of religious tension: separating kids so that they never meet the people they're being encouraged to fear and loathe.

Then in with an incisive follow-up:

To ask the Secretary of State for Education whether any schools in The Dark Place South West constituency have applied to become an academy.
To date, no schools in The Dark Place South West constituency have applied to become an academy, or expressed an interest in doing so.

What a relief. There are academy schools here (The Hegemon sponsors one, for no good reason I've ever discovered), but the city is largely non-racist and democratic, so isn't that interested in condemning most of the kids to failure while handing the schools over to corporate interests and little dictator heads.

But I'm sure Paul will fix that. Can't have The Dark Place letting the side down, can we? It makes the place look positively un-Tory!

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