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.
BBC told new political editor must be 'impartial' with Nick Robinson reportedly stepping down
Humans of New York image of crying gay teen receives best response yet from Ellen DeGeneres
Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Van driver who comforted Clark Carlisle and called 999 after suicide attempt dies age 24
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Greece crisis: IMF was pushed around by Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy – and now it is being humiliated
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
- 1 Isis propaganda video shows 25 Syrian soldiers executed by teenage militants in Palmyra
- 2 Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
- 3 The map showing the most dangerous tourist destinations in Europe, according to the Foreign Office
- 4 The biggest first date turnoff has been revealed
- 5 German man found living with 300 rats in tiny apartment
£22000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To contribute to the day-to-da...
£17000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: It is also essential that you p...
£27000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Edinburgh city centre scho...
£30000 - £31000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An independent boys' school sit...