James Forsyth

The little platoons are mobilising

The little platoons are mobilising
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There’s a great example of people power on the letters page of today’s Guardian. Last week, a bunch of the educational establishment wrote to the paper decrying the Tory plans to bust open the state monopoly in education and let parents, teachers and voluntary groups set up new schools. Today, 650-odd parent groups have written back, explaining why they want to set up their own schools and give to the many what is now preserved for the few: the right to choose a good school for their child.  

There isn’t anything equal about schooling in Britiain at the moment. The vast majority of good state schools in Britain operate a policy of selection by house price; friends of mine worked out recently that the difference in price between a house in the catchement area for the good Barnet schools and one just outside was more than the cost of sending their daughter to an elite London private school.

If the Tories get in, their policies will transform education in this country; putting rocket boosters under social mobility. The fact that the educational establishment is opposing this policy so ferociously tells you all you need to know about it.