There can be no true society — and no social mobility — without hierarchy, says Roger ScrutonThe recent memo purloined from Prince Charles made the accurate observation that ‘child-centred’ education, by encouraging false expectations and discouraging effort, seriously hampers the one who receives it. University teachers know this, since they have to deal with the products of an education which puts self-esteem before real achievement.
As a service to Spectator readers who still have any doubts about the decline in educational standards, we are printing these exam papers taken by 11-year-olds applying for places to King Edward’s School in Birmingham in 1898.
1. Write out in your best handwriting:—
‘O Mary, go and call the cattle home,And call the cattle home,And call the cattle home,Across the sands o’ Dee.’The western wind was wild and dank with foam,And all alone went she.
Do the last few days remind you of anything, by any chance? Presidential heavy breathing about a ‘rogue’ Middle Eastern state; a supporting chorus of exiles with dramatic new claims; and a senior member of the US government bearing intelligence which turns out to be more spin than spine-chilling. Less than a month after the presidential election, the Bush White House has begun its campaign against Iran.