Thursday, August 18, 2005

Education x 3

Stephen Pollard :

Our book’s argument – the analysis which underpinned that campaign slogan - was that education is the great engine of social mobility. But instead of promoting meritocracy, it was doing the reverse.

For the first two thirds of the twentieth century, the high standards of grammar schools acted as a unique spring board, opening up all sorts of areas which had previously been the preserve of the elites, from an Oxbridge degree to a career in the professions.

Andrew (as he was then - now Lord Adonis) and I argued, however, that the final third of the century was very different. From the 1960s, Britain became a less socially mobile society.

Where on the social ladder a person was born predicted, with depressing accuracy, where they would end up. The reason? The decline in state education, with coincided with – and was in large part caused by – the shift from selective to comprehensive education.


Andrew Adonis is an intelligent chap. It pains me to hear the nonsense he now has to regurgitate as a Labour Minister.

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