Chalk Talk: How new immigration rules got Eton into a mess
Richard Garner has been Education Editor of The Independent for 12 years and writing about the subject for 34 years. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a disc jockey in London pubs and clubs and for a hospital radio station. His main hobbies are cricket (watching these days) and theatre. On his days off, he is most likelt to be found at Lord’s or the King’s Head Theatre Club.
Thursday 27 October 2011
An example of how the new stricter controls on immigration can have unintended consequences for schools: for several years now Eton has been offering a place to a promising Palestinian student. In the past there have been no problems in bringing the potential scholarship student over to Eton for an interview.
This year, though, while immigration officials were happy to grant him entry to study, they declined to allow him in for the interview. What to do? Tony Little, Eton’s headmaster, had to decide whether to allow the student in unseen or despatch a master to the Middle East to do the check out there. Quite a different assignment to the kind that a master at Eton is used to tackling, I should imagine. All went well, though, The master returned safely and the boy is now at Eton.
While visiting Lipson Community College in Plymouth, I came upon an interesting example of government attempts to micro-manage school performance. It was a few years ago, but the college received a congratulatory missive from the previous Labour government about its exceptional attempts to improve school performance. It was, it was told, one of the schools to offer the best value in improving the expected performance of its pupils.
This was swiftly followed by a second letter, saying that, because of its low performance in GCSEs, it was being placed on what was euphemistically being called the “national challenge” list of schools failing to get 30 per cent of their pupils to achieve five A* to C grades.
It quickly passed that hurdle, so all is well for the moment – although the present Government is planning to raise the bar. It would be nice, though, to have some indication of what ministers had really thought about the performance of the school.
The first batch of statistics showing next year’s university applications shows a 9 per cent drop compared to this time last year. When UK student applications are considered on their own, this rises to 11.9 per cent. Just a thought: the headlines this summer were all about how 180,000 applicants did not get into university this year. Well, nine per cent of last year’s eventual total is substantially less than 180,000.
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
- 1 East 17 bandmember Brian Harvey in 'very desperate situation’
- 2 Is this bridge haunted by the ghost of nu rave?
- 3 Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
- 4 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 5 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
£25,880 – £28,610 per annum: Imperial College London: Imperial College London ...
£26,976 - £31,614 per annum: University College London: UCL Information Servic...
£30 - 32k (DOE): Guru Careers: We are seeking an Instructional / e-Learning De...
£30500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Schools Education & Careers Executive ...