Monitor: Education Reform

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The Independent Culture
Opinion following Tony Blair's announcement this week of educational reforms

The Times

BLAIR'S REAL challenge lies with those who will now charge that his blueprint is "divisive" and that it undermines the core principles upon which comprehensive education should be structured. This claim is of very limited credibility but enormous emotional power. The Prime Minister has put forward a bold and coherent plan and made available a more than adequate amount of money. It remains to be seen whether schools, and especially the local education authorities concerned, will make the most of this opportunity.

The Express

MR BLAIR sees the destructive effects of a state system that forces its most able pupils to flee. That means that this week's speech will be only the beginning. If he can pull it off, private schools had better watch out. (Stephen Pollard)

The Birmingham Post

SPECIALIST SCHOOLS are a coward's way out. The Prime Minister could not call them grammar schools, but a new two-tier system is certainly not a comprehensive one.

Tony Blair is being a coward for not acknowledging what Birmingham's grammar schools have proved all along. That is that parents like selective education, especially middle-class parents of high-achieving children.



AND HOW does it help pupils of average ability or below in inner-city schools if parents who can afford it flee the capital or remove their children from the state system? The Government's proposals are a bold departure from a failed philosophy of education, and they deserve support.