A valued education

If you go here, you will find the “spend” per pupil across English local authorities.

What you won’t easily find is the “value” or the worth.

Malcolm puts it on record that:

  • The most gifted pupils should invariably be handed a decent, readable text, told to relax in a corner, and report back at leisure. Chaise-longues should be provided, alongside umpteen sources of supplementary reference. Feed-back and even ferocious adult/student argument should follow. Cost: minimal, beyond a bit of intelligent teacher time (neither time nor “intelligence” is a given in the modern context).
  • Then there’s the intermediate mass. Cajole with lots of staff contact and low pupil-teacher ratios. Precisely the formula that takes the public-school types to Oxbridge.
  • Finally, there’s the really deserving. One example: no autistic child should cost less than £50,000 investment a year. Starting as soon as diagnosis — which ought to be around eighteen months. Since local authorities (thanks to Gove’s cuts) can’t afford that investment, it needs to be nationally-financed.

The only value-judgement should be outcome. If a school is delivering: that’s success. So bench-marking at infants/junior  and primary/secondary transfer, then let the professionals do their work. Just don’t keep opening the oven door while the soufflé is rising.


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Filed under education, Michael Gove, schools

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