"In 2007 Blair declared an end to the failed 35-year experiment of comprehensive education.
In an extraordinary about-turn for Labour - he conceded that academic excellence had too often come second to the desire for social equality in the classroom.He promised a revolution in secondary schools to put the needs of individual pupils first and made selection a central element of his reforms, overturning a fundamental principle of his party's education policies for 50 years.He pledged to turn nearly half of schools into specialist colleges, free to choose ten per cent of pupils by 'aptitude'."
Oldrightie is of an age where he is moving into the "to be dismissed" column of modern life. Any knowledge or experience gained in a fairly interesting career in aviation and an in depth understanding of poverty and the drive to escape it, is all of nought. My generation, at my socio-economic level missed out on the more sophisticated hedonism granted the better off and often university students. We were too busy working. Many of the those spoilt kids worked hard, played harder but became the early sexual freedom casualties. Victims, not beneficiaries, of their new found but undisciplined life styles. They in turn spawned neglected kids, huge increases in divorce and single parent families. All of which was to be aped by those least able to cope thus falling into the ever expanding abyss of an underclass. All this time education was forced into a politically created straight jacket of ordinariness and failed experimental, social engineering that was and remains called comprehensive education. The results of this failure are plain to see. Add to the mix mass immigration, overburdened public services and lack of decent housing, jobs and above all else hope and you arrive at the state we are in today. All this time we witnessed a steady increase in career politicians and a corresponding decrease in a ruling class with any real understanding of people, society and dare I say, togetherness. I cannot see or perceive of any way this can ever be altered other than catastrophic events too big for the powers that be to buy off or withstand from their ivory towers. Well there is one way. Let quality automatically be allowed to flourish whilst finding the holy grail of how to find excellence amongst the least fortunate. During this period it must also be determined what is to be done for the least able. Manual labour and the pride it engendered was once a way. Surely it cannot be beyond the wit of man to find an alternative life style for the wastrels and yobs that dominate our streets and towns? Discipline via military conscription which included skills training and personal development was successful once. Ex national servicemen still get together, have web sites and bask in a warm sense of belonging and responsibility towards others. Is that a bad thing? Could it work again? Why not?