I was fed up to find yet another diatribe against state education online this morning. I'll allow you to guess the source of the following quotations:
"I noticed that several schools are not academically rigorous, and that their emphasis is on skill rather than real subjects."
"If kids are poor, or come from a chaotic background, they are not considered deserving of good quality education."
"As a result, most children in state secondary schools learn nothing."
It is of course, Toby Young. His interview appears on the English pages of an Italian website
Nothing too surprising or original in his views, certainly. But depressing to see them again all the same.
There were a couple of things which really piqued my interest in that interview.
Firstly, the man who is on record as saying here
"Being an environmentalist, like being Catholic, is compatible with a limitless degree of hypocrisy," he appears to be undergoing something of a Pauline conversion. He now says, "In such an ideological outlook, I am convinced that religious belief can be a true bulwark against ideology and the like."
And more interesting still, he says, "Religious people support the idea of free education, and the principle of the Anglican school nearby gave us invaluable help. I also remember that this is one of the points that the Holy Father stressed with special attention."
Did he really use the phrase "Holy Father"? Is this the influence of arch-Catholic John McIntosh on this free school steering board?
And, which C of E school head in Hammersmith gave Toby Young such invaluable help? WLFS is avowedly non-denominational, I thought.
Prime candidate would be Burlington Danes Academy I guess*. Whichever headteacher was kind enough to spend time with Toby Young and his fellows, good on them. Christians reaching out to the needy and all that.
* Other C of E schools "nearby" include:
St Paul's Primary
All Saints Primary
St Stephen's Primary
St Peter's Primary.