There seems to be a lot of loose thinking tied up in this debate. The public schools are seen as providing a better standard of education compared to the state sector.
How can this be?
In order to raise the standards in state schools we have:
- Ofsted inspections with draconian powers
- We are told we have to work longer hours
- We are told we have to have shorter holidays
- We are subjected to lesson analysis with 3 part lessons, learning styles, skills, knowledge, differentiation, support, audio-visual, interactive etc. etc. all built in.
- We have extensive diagnostic marking
- We have numerous initiatives coming and going in an endless stream
Yet despite all this the state system seemingly languishes.
The public sector has none of this. They are not subject to Ofsted scrutiny, a constant stream of initiatives or the killer diagnostic marking.
The public sector has shorter days and shorter terms.
We need to get our state system functioning perfectly so I would suggest one of the following:
Either we fund state schools to the same level as public schools so that they can provide the same small class sizes, excellent staffing and facilities;
Or we abolish public schools so that all those bright middle-class kids come into the state sector and raise the standards there and their parents use all their punch to gain that extra funding;
Or we bring in the same working condition for state schools as public schools – shorter days, shorter terms, no Ofsted inspections, no stream of initiatives etc. After all if it apparently works for the public sector why shouldn’t everyone’s kids get the benefit of it?