It was rather a provocative editorial in the TES at thebeginning of January. I wrote as follows:
It’s not exactly a sequitur is it, and it’s non on several counts. Your editorial, Mr Kelly, is full of stuff that doesn’t follow, or make sense; it’s full of innuendo used to propagate a fallacy.
Take the suggestion that kids arrive at the school [where you are a governor], “too many . . . . . unable to count or read”, and then, magic, five years later 8 A-Cs and on they’re on their way to the graduate unemployment market. And your school’s teachers “work incredibly hard” and the feeder schools’ primary school teachers don’t! You need to know that people who take their degrees and go into teaching don’t do it not to bother.
And here you add a complaint that I think should be a cause for celebration, and displayed from all the trees in all the parks: that the primaries “can depend on local support”. Heavens, Gerard, do you mean a local school for every child? Like marriage, for better for worse, standing by the school when the cohort is less academic, or all summer-borns, or all coming from the country where education is really low. And when the g and ts tip the stupid, stupid, dangerous, meaningless scores above the average, you don’t crow, but you know that famine follows feast as surely as feast follows famine.
To suggest that you are personally paying for “poor” primaries, and that your opinion of these schools counts over the opinion of the local parents, well, that’s just provocative.
Your editorial is littered with unsubstantiated statements, such as “ If school leadership is weak,”; you accuse the “Left” of “excusing failure” and of being “ quick to dismiss success”. If it’s weak – is it weak; Who are the Left? Which institution would be more able to transform life chances?
Why, Mr Kelly, one which stands up for itself and for its students. One that fights its oppressors, and demonstrates to the students that it will fight, and fight for them and protect them from Idiot Bear of Little Brain Education Secretaries of State, who wouldn’t know a child if he tripped over one.