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Middle Classes Are Whipping Boys Of Labour's Dumbed-down Education

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1770

The Government is guilty of "dumbing down" educational standards in its pursuit of record exam pass rates, a teachers' leader claimed today.

Peter Morris, a senior official at the Professional Association of Teachers, said that under the Government's "social engineering" programme, the middle classes had become "the whipping boys for New Labourî as ministers attempted to force universities to exclude them in favour of working class candidates.

As A-level and GCSE students await their results next month, Mr Morris will tell the PAT annual conference in Harrogate today that ministers are pushing too many into low-grade "Mickey Mouse" university courses, which do not prepare them for the world of work.

He said: "I am angry because this government has interfered with my children and their children's chances of getting a good education in this country. They have changed the ways that examinations are assessed and clearly this has had a dumbing down effect on academic standards in order to get more pupils to achieve."

Because exams were easier, so many students now get straight As the government has been forced to introduce a new top grade, the A*, to A-levels to counterbalance softer questions, Mr Morris said.

But he reserved most of his anger for coming changes to the university entrance system. In future, candidates-will be required to say whether or not their parents went to university on their application forms.

Mr Morris, who is chairman of the PAT's Welsh executive committee, said: "Children of graduates who apply for a university course will be placed at a disadvantage in comparison to applicants with similar qualifications whose parents did not attend university."

He praised Oxford for its declaration that admissions tutors will not be allowed to see information about the qualifications of candidates' parents.

But he warned that at other universities, this information would be available to admissions tutors before offers were made, adding: "This political interfering with university applications clearly is designed to reduce the chances of hard-working applicants in getting university places"

He attacked the rapid expansion of undergraduate numbers over the past decade, as the Government tries to ensure at least half of under-thirties go to university by 2010. "We have seen an increase in the number of non-academic degree courses such as surfing, beauty therapy, knitwear, circus skills, pig enterprise management and wine studies.

"Chris Woodhead has dismissed such courses as quasi-academic and vacuous. I say to Mr Woodhead hear! hear!, I couldn't agree more."

Mr Morris singled out the religious studies degree at Trinity College Carmarthen, part of the University of Wales, for particular scorn.

One of its modules, entitled Holy Hollywood, looks at religion in film, while another requires students to "trawlî the internet looking for religious representations.

"For example, it compares Superman with Jesus Christ. To me, that borders on blasphemy. I feel it doesn't form part of strong academic rigour," Mr Morris said.

Trinity College Carmarthen said government inspectors at the Quality Assurance Agency had recently given it the highest possible approval rating for the quality of its courses.

Not only has the government interfered with middle classes chances of getting a property by creating a 'miracle' economy but has also interfered with children and their children's chances of getting a good education in this country.

Middle classes are whipping boys of incompetent Labour's education but hopefully Labour will be the 'whipping boys' of UK politics one day!

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"For example, it compares Superman with Jesus Christ. To me, that borders on blasphemy. I feel it doesn't form part of strong academic rigour," Mr Morris said.

Of course, if it were the Nietzschean superman with Jesus Christ, then that would be very interesting work (though it might do a bit more than just border on blasphemy),

Peter.

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But he warned that at other universities, this information would be available to admissions tutors before offers were made, adding: "This political interfering with university applications clearly is designed to reduce the chances of hard-working applicants in getting university places"

Quite amusing when you think that the whole point of private education, paying thousands of pounds in school fees, is dones solely on the basis of getting kids into better universities than they can achieve by talent alone. Hard work has sod all to do with it, its all about the interview coaching and enterance exam preparation. Things totally unavailable to the majority of state school kids.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/arti...in_page_id=1770

Not only has the government interfered with middle classes chances of getting a property by creating a 'miracle' economy but has also interfered with children and their children's chances of getting a good education in this country.

Middle classes are whipping boys of incompetent Labour's education but hopefully Labour will be the 'whipping boys' of UK politics one day!

Everyone knows the middle classes have exploited the higher education system for years at the expense of those who are less well-off, but we wouldn't want the less advantaged kids to get a look-in would we ?

This is pandering to the outraged Daily Mail readers who've bought into a good school area and now see a possibility that their scheme for guaranteeing a red-brick education for their offspring might be compromised. And as for quoting that embittered troll Woodhead on education - well he lost all credibility years ago.

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Surely in this day and age questioning and comparison is hardly blasphemy..?

True but comparing superman with mohamid, well watch out for death threats and and upset PC nu labours gaurdian reader lefties.

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Superman Vs Jesus, who do you reckon would win in a fight?

Jesus' superpowers:

i) Walk on water

ii) Raise the dead

Superman's powers:

i) Is able to fly

ii) Can also raise the dead - see Superman I

Still not sure - see below!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/6916287.stm

I'd go for Jesus because he can pull in his old man who I believe can throw thunder bolts.

But would it even things up if Superman had an Uzi?

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We could just take a leaf out of the Government's book and just lie on the form.It worked for Mandelson.How could they check if someone had been to University years before?

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We could just take a leaf out of the Government's book and just lie on the form.It worked for Mandelson.How could they check if someone had been to University years before?

Oh Christ...WELCOME TO SOCIALIST UTOPIA!!

...this is a happy land where there is no such thing as failure,everything in your life is mapped out for you by nanny,and even if you do get things wrong...whatever that word is,because nanny changes her mind...you can always go and get re-educated until you give the correct response.

Mary Poppins was more easy-going than this shower!!

..If they can't figure out the answers,then why should we trust them.

LIONS LED BY DONKEYS!!!!

WHY SHOULD A PEOPLE TRUST A STATE THAT DOESN'T TRUST THE PEOPLE???

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Oh Christ...WELCOME TO SOCIALIST UTOPIA!!

...this is a happy land where there is no such thing as failure,everything in your life is mapped out for you by nanny,and even if you do get things wrong...whatever that word is,because nanny changes her mind...you can always go and get re-educated until you give the correct response.

Mary Poppins was more easy-going than this shower!!

..If they can't figure out the answers,then why should we trust them.

LIONS LED BY DONKEYS!!!!

WHY SHOULD A PEOPLE TRUST A STATE THAT DOESN'T TRUST THE PEOPLE???

People want it both ways. They do not want to live in a nanny state but they want a nanny to blame when they buy 500k houses on flood plains and it floods.

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"We have seen an increase in the number of non-academic degree courses such as surfing, beauty therapy, knitwear, circus skills, pig enterprise management and wine studies.

oooh ! Wine Studies! Do they accept post-grads?

Seriously, why not just lie about your parents education? You can do it with a morgage after all, and get however much you like.

I'm off to set a website that, rather than selling dubious degrees, sells dubious non-degrees guaranteeing that your parents worked at Mucky Ds from age 16 to 30 ( when they were not on the dole, that is).

Absolutely ridiculous, really. What happened to the idea of a meritocracy?

Theres really no point in holding peope *back* judged on their background.

Now, encourage and support those who might not otherwise aspire to an education by all means, that is a good thing.

They'll not be out robbing me, smashing up my old car and kicking my bike wheels in, for one thing.

But don't push people of a lower acedemic status ahead of their superiors based on their "underpriveleged background", the point should be to raise their standard to the point where they compete for places on an even ground. Leaving aside financial considerations, for the moment.

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oooh ! Wine Studies! Do they accept post-grads?

Seriously, why not just lie about your parents education? You can do it with a morgage after all, and get however much you like.

I'm off to set a website that, rather than selling dubious degrees, sells dubious non-degrees guaranteeing that your parents worked at Mucky Ds from age 16 to 30 ( when they were not on the dole, that is).

Absolutely ridiculous, really. What happened to the idea of a meritocracy?

Theres really no point in holding peope *back* judged on their background.

Now, encourage and support those who might not otherwise aspire to an education by all means, that is a good thing.

They'll not be out robbing me, smashing up my old car and kicking my bike wheels in, for one thing.

But don't push people of a lower acedemic status ahead of their superiors based on their "underpriveleged background", the point should be to raise their standard to the point where they compete for places on an even ground. Leaving aside financial considerations, for the moment.

Although this 'question' has obvious flaws - is maybe even misguided - no Uni entrance tutor I know is going to elevate a lower academic person above a genuinely much better candidate. The whole point of the exercise is to try to put merit BACK into the process, not remove it.

If you don't believe that having non-academic parents and getting an A and 2 Bs from a poor-performing inner city comprehensive is a tougher task than having academic supportive rich parents and getting 3 A's from Roedean or Eton, then OK you're right, bright parents always have brighter kids, and no account should be given to where you start from in life. I choose to differ, and so do many others who see the talent that is wasted from not getting that flying start from mummy and daddy that a privileged minority benefit from.

When we have a level secondary-school playing field (Utopia) then by all means remove all consideration of background from the selection process.

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Quite amusing when you think that the whole point of private education, paying thousands of pounds in school fees, is dones solely on the basis of getting kids into better universities than they can achieve by talent alone. Hard work has sod all to do with it, its all about the interview coaching and enterance exam preparation. Things totally unavailable to the majority of state school kids.

Biggest load of rubbish I have ever read.

The whole point of private education these days is to allow parents to actually get their children educated.

It's not about a better education, it's about an education.

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Biggest load of rubbish I have ever read.

The whole point of private education these days is to allow parents to actually get their children educated.

It's not about a better education, it's about an education.

Arrogant elitist crap.

Most top academics in the top universities are state educated. Most top investment bankers are privately educated.

Depends on what you mean by education I suppose.

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Although this 'question' has obvious flaws - is maybe even misguided - no Uni entrance tutor I know is going to elevate a lower academic person above a genuinely much better candidate. The whole point of the exercise is to try to put merit BACK into the process, not remove it.

If you don't believe that having non-academic parents and getting an A and 2 Bs from a poor-performing inner city comprehensive is a tougher task than having academic supportive rich parents and getting 3 A's from Roedean or Eton, then OK you're right, bright parents always have brighter kids, and no account should be given to where you start from in life. I choose to differ, and so do many others who see the talent that is wasted from not getting that flying start from mummy and daddy that a privileged minority benefit from.

When we have a level secondary-school playing field (Utopia) then by all means remove all consideration of background from the selection process.

You make a very good point, with which I do agree in general.

However, would you concede that your point relates more to the school, and not to a direct question of the parents education? Of course there *may* be a high degree of correlation between school attended and parents education, depending on the school in question. But you do seem to project a moneyed and priveleged background onto the owner of a degree, not always the case by any means.

A direct question of the students parents education is surely rather less useful than the school in question, it gives very little relevant factual information on it's own.

Whereas schools do tend to be actively monitored and measured these days, giving rather more useful information. (I'm afraid I can't comment on the value of these measurements, due to total ignorance).

So I don't see the question of whether a parent is university educated is very valid in terms of awarding places, assuming that that is the only the only information gathered on the students home environment.

Believe me, I really am in favour of a high level of education for all, especially the failing cases (I live in central London so do experience the consequences of failure very directly, all too often).

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I left school with 2 O levels

My mum left school at 14

My dad left school ... er, I've no idea when, but he didn't go to Uni

But I have an IQ of 163

But nobody cares about IQ, it's all about magical bits of paper and who you know isn't it.

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