I wrote this letter to TES in May. They printed some of it. Here it is in full:
I woke up one day last week to hear the BBC World Service telling me that a Lib Dem was going to be Minister for Eh. Eh? What was that? Education? Sadly no, It was Eh for Energy. So we still have that nice cove of a Gove, I guess, for Education.
Mr Gove is keen to let parents get together to form and run schools of their own. Will this be in their spare time, I wonder? Will they not need some type of a training to be able to do this? I spent years at Uni preparing to be a teacher. I found it all very helpful.
But, Michael, you don‘t need to go to all this expense, take all the chances when amateurs think they know how to run a school, and you have to worry about it not working out, like that school in Surrey [your own constituency, I believe] where the local authority had to step back in and take over again.
Parents’ schools are already here. It’s called home schooling. Groups of parents can get together, and hire in tutors as and when; then when their offspring are safely at Oxbridge, they can leave it to the next generation of parents to pick up the baton for their own kids.
Or you could do what most parents with a bit of cash do now. Let their kids go to school with the local riff-raff, then hire in private tutors to cover any subjects that they feel need extra time on. [Eighteen years ago, I earned a packet, briefly, as a private tutor to five GCSE students of Russian at a local high school. That school was covered in league table glory, whereas my own school, in much poorer area, got closed two years later]
One big advantage also of going to a real school is that they meet some real people [aka riff-raff] at said local school before they get to be government ministers and have to rule over us,.
Victoria Jaquiss FRSA, Russian graduate, teacher, blogger, parent, school-governor, writer, band-leader, part-time saver of the world, riff-raff and ex-private tutor