Monday, August 10, 2009

Legacy Of Ruin

Things can only get better


Sources close to My Lord Mandy have told BOM that the government will shortly introduce measures to make Britain's boardrooms more equal.

When selecting directors in future, FTSE 100 companies will have to give preference to candidates who are qualification-poor.

An official at the Department of Bollocks told BOM "His Magnificence is determined to help people who have been denied the educational and work advantages enjoyed by traditional main board directors."

The official added: "Just because someone has suffered from going to a pisspoor state education factory and has subsequently proved to be unemployable does not mean he - or she - should be denied a board position. In selecting their directors, companies must not discriminate against those whose underachieving backgrounds and lack of qualifications might in the past have precluded admission to the board room."

*****

Having destroyed educational excellence in our state schools, Labour is well on the way to doing the same to our universities.

Last week we learned that the percentage of students getting firsts has virtually doubled under Labour - despite the fact that student numbers are up by a staggering 30%.

And now Mandy has apparently decided that university applicants from poor families should be given a two-grade "head start" to help them secure a place. A two grade head start for students who may very well then stuggle with their uni course... unless that too is dumbed down.

Out here in the real world, most of us can see that we've already got far more university graduates with dubious degrees than we can ever use. When last sighted - before the slump - unemployment among new grads was 8.2% and rising fast. And if you add in all the grads employed in non-graduate type jobs, the true figure is much higher.

As we've blogged many times (eg here), Labour's 50% uni participation target is absolutely bonkers. It is entirely arbitrary, and far higher than the 34.8% OECD average: when last sighted, the US was on 33.6% and Japan on 36.1%, both behind us on 39.3% (graduation rates - see here).

And it's not cheap. On top of the c£15bn pa direct cost to taxpayers for the courses, we are also losing all the output from these students. And that's both while they're at uni, and while they're tooling around for a year or two afterwards reconciling themselves to the awful truth that a degree from a UK uni is no longer a meal ticket.

Gah!

The real screaming priority is obvious to everyone out here. It's not more uni places for underperforming students. It's to improve the lamentable standards in our state schools.

Gove had better deliver on those school vouchers, that's all. Because the Major's starting to get very agitated.

PS Yes, we realise this may all be another wind-up from the Master of wind-ups. But the damage Labour has inflicted on our education system is all too real.

As you may know, His Magnificence himself was educated at a state grammar school in a leafy North London glade. But shortly after he left, the school was forced to go comprehensive, and as a 1200 pupil state education factory, it now struggles to produce good A Level results, scoring well below the national averages. Maybe HM might reflect on that as he's oiling his pecs out there in the sun.

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