Let’s State the Bleeding Obvious…

I’m in Russia and about to go to the ballet so I’ll make this brief. The Sutton Trust tell us that ‘poor children’ (and if you want to know why this phrase is all shades of wrong, read Sue Cowley’s blog on the subject) from the South do better in life than those in the North. The press report this lazily as a product of better schooling in London. Hmmm. Well the children examined were from the district of Westminster. Where…

1. They are more likely to be schooled in a socially mixed setting.

2. They are entitled to free public transport.

3. And thereby can access all kinds of cultural resources, which are also free.

Whereas, in most Northern areas, our children from the most disadvanted backgrounds are :-

1. Living on isolated estates that were built miles from city centres and facilities.

2. Charged extortionate prices for travelling on buses.

3. Have far fewer opportunities to access free services.

Just saying there might be more to it than meets the London based journalist’s eye.

And incidentally, I was born into a ‘poor’ family and lived in the North. And here I am watching ballet.

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2 thoughts on “Let’s State the Bleeding Obvious…

  1. Very good points made, with appropriate questions raised.
    Aha, perhaps you’ve been able to highlight the difference between sensationalist, headline-grabbing journalism and balanced, investigative journalism. Like statistics, there’s lies, damn lies and then there’s…journalism! Your commentary also highlights the fact that we educators are dealing with young ‘people’, who have different backgrounds, different experiences, different viewpoints. How long will it take for ‘the powers that be’ to realise that there is no one single magic formula, no one single way of teaching – take a successful pupil or a successful teacher out of one school and put them in another, and they may not be as good; horses for courses; ability, adaptibility, flexibility… subjectivity.

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