Once upon a time, there were teachers who devoted heart and soul to introducing their pupils, however poor or deprived, to classical culture, correct grammar in speech and the kind of general knowledge and manners that would equip them for any social situation...
If social mobility is to be increased, the answer is not to abolish private education but to give state school pupils the opportunity to experience what the progressives took away.
From today's Sunday Times:
Children at state schools should be taught manners, "how to speak in coherent sentences", foreign languages and team skills from as young as seven if they are to get to the top and improve their social mobility, a leading independent school headmistress will say tomorrow...
"Social mobility in Britain will not change until the education system changes."An interesting coincidence, perhaps (unless this blog is far more influential than I thought), but inevitable in the sense that the conclusion is such an obvious one - at least to those without a vested interest in the educational status quo.
And there's more - Janet Daly in the Telegraph this weekend, writing about progressive education :
Schooling was no longer about encouraging children to escape from the milieu that would sink their feet in the concrete of low expectations. It was consciously designed not to do that: not to imply in any way that the child’s background was inferior – however impoverished or genuinely deprived it might be. To impose correct grammar, or academic content, or “bourgeois culture”, on working-class children was a form of social imperialism.