Fraser Nelson

Jade Goody’s dying wish indicts our failing education system

Jade Goody's dying wish indicts our failing education system
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Jade Goody got married today, and I can well imagine what CoffeeHousers think of the hullabaloo. In her defence, I’d say that she’s done more to promote awareness of cervical cancer than the last ten years of government initiatives put together – screening is up 20%.

And the cash she's getting? Sure – but this is my main point. She’ll put it in a fund to educate her sons. “I know I'm ignorant, but I'm going to make sure my boys are not,” she says. She means, of course, send them private – and the fact that no one questions her logic is a powerful comment on the country we live in. The Finns or Dutch would find it incomprehensible that a mother’s dying wish is for her children to avoid the state education system. But there most state schools are privately-run. Parents don’t have to fork out for the best education, as it should be.

Her concern is a uniquely British one, because in no other country is the gap between the quality of state and private education so large. Education spending has doubled in Britain, yet people like Jade Goody believe (and rightly) that their children will be better served by opting out of the government system. So here is a mission for Michael Gove. If there are eight years of Tory government, this apartheid that Goody speaks about should end. The excellence of the private schools must be brought to everyone.

Written byFraser Nelson

Fraser Nelson is the editor of The Spectator. He is also a columnist with The Daily Telegraph, a member of the advisory board of the Centre for Social Justice and the Centre for Policy Studies.

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