Yeah, we know all that mate, but what about the hard questions?
Dave C writes in today's Mail on Sunday in defence of his secondary schools policy. He says:
"Most important of all, as David Willetts has set out, we will pull down the walls that prevent real choice, diversity and innovation within state education.
We will introduce the simplest possible system for setting up new schools within the state sector. These could be provided, for example, by voluntary organisations led by parents, charities, social enterprises, churches or even private schools themselves.
For far too long in Britain the education debate has been about dividing up the regrettably small number of good school places."
Hurrah. The candidate is definitely on the Right Lines (see this blog).
Unfortunately, he still doesn't answer some of the trickier questions. In particular:
1. Will schools be allowed to manage their own admissions? In the far superior independent sector (a superiority now formally recognised by the Education Secretary), that is taken as read. The head has to be able to manage the composition of his school, which includes academic selection. Of course, in the state sector, politicos enforce their own convoluted admission rules producing the nonsenses and heartbreak we hear about every summer, and contributing mightily to the job from hell.
2. Without academic selection, how can you have manageable human scale schools, such as he wants for his own children? A grammar stream in every comp implies a minimum school size of 1500. See this blog for the model calcs.