Coffee House

If Nick Clegg doesn’t think his local schools are much cop, then he should say so

25 January 2013

Normally, it is really rather tiresome when a politician is pilloried in the media for choosing to send their children to a private school above the local state schools. There’s even an argument that if you can afford to send your kid to a fee-paying school, then at least it is one less pressure in the great London school places crush.

But one thing worth mulling over about Nick Clegg’s admission on LBC yesterday that he might send his eldest son to an independent school if the school lottery doesn’t go his way is that the Deputy Prime Minister has tried very, very hard since coming into office not to criticise state schools and teachers. Those close to him have made clear that they are uncomfortable with the way Michael Gove provokes the teaching unions by calling teachers ‘whingers’, believing that these sorts of criticisms are the ‘last thing the government needs’ when it is trying to keep teachers on side with its major education reforms.

But even if you prefer to protect schools from Gove-style attacks, it’s an even bigger insult to teachers if you then suggest that they’re not good enough to educate your own children. By all means call them whingers and attack standards in schools publicly and then send your own children to private schools because you’re open about your dissatisfaction with the state sector. At least you’ve been honest from the start. But it’s another thing to avoid criticising the profession and even to push back on key reforms while privately worrying the sector isn’t up to teaching your own precious brood. If Clegg thinks there are schools round his way that aren’t much cop, then he’s welcome to say so: the government clearly thinks so, too, given its programme of education reform.

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  • Fergus Pickering

    I suppose the real reason I didn’t send my children to public schools was the dreadful people they might meet there – like Cleggie’s kiddies..

  • white patriarch

    what NO ONE wants to point out here is the real reason why the middle classes are so desoerate to keep their little darlings out of the state schools in inner London: they have been culturally enriched by violent criminal Afro-Carribean gang culture and by the crazed, low IQ, inbred offspring of the followers of a certain 7th Century Arab Paedo. The working class, who do not have the option of going private, have all moved to the satellite towns.

  • Tom Tom

    London Oratory has Selective Intake of Roman Catholics

  • Hexhamgeezer

    At least Meneer Clogg would be consistent. Don’t let your children be failed and contaminated with the people and don’t let those products of the state system have a vote on Europe.

    Hexhamgeezer – refugee from London’s state system.

  • Jim Graham

    If Clegg doesn’t think his schools are much cop where he lives in London, what does he suppose they are like up here in his constituency in Sheffield. The word’ brutal’ comes to mind. Sheffield is 139th out of 150 in GCSE results for a reason. It doesn’t matter how bad his schools are where he lives they’ve got to be better than round here, Nick, mate.

  • white patriarch

    What NO ONE in the meeja wants to point out is the obvious: the middle classes in London are desperate to avoid the state schools, partly because of the poor quality of teaching, but mainly because said schools have been culturally enriched by violent lazy crime prone Afro-Carribean gang members and the low IQ inbred followers of the Prophet.

    The working class, for whom private schools are not an option, have basically moved out to the satellite towns.

  • Colonel Mustard

    Peter from Maidstone summed this up rather neatly at another place:

    “What is most hypocritical is surely that he says he doesn’t want his son’s education to be a matter of politics while he is quite happy for the education of everyone else’s children to be a matter of his politics.”

    Quite. And to misquote Mel Brooks:- “Too much politics, too much politics! Not enough freedom!”

  • alabenn

    Miss Hardman you seem to have missed the bit where Clegg said if his wife wants to send their children to private school he would not stand in her way.
    That is what really grates about this piece of slime, not only will he shaft the peasants who have to take what is on offer but at first he hid behind his wife, implying he was happy with the state schools but that his wife had higher standards than he, i wonder which face she kissed when they were married..

  • IanH

    Remind me, who are the Lib Dims constituency, it’s not the better paid public servants by chance is it?

  • Noa

    Why would the Cleggs actively disadvantage their children by putting them into a education system which is actively designed to prevent their succession to the levers of power?

  • CharlieleChump

    The truth and LibDem policies and actions are poles apart. Clegg, Abbott and the rest all want to lecture and impose regulations and restrictions on us but still do what is good only for them and their families.
    Clegg’s latest U-turn is no surprise, yet again those forced to rely on state service provision are left to fight and struggle alone for the quality of service while his kind have the choice.

  • Robert_Eve

    Gove is honest.

    Clegg is beyond help.

  • Rhoda Klapp2

    Isabel. all this exposure to the political class and you still don’t see what’s going on? What applies to the plebs does not apply to them. They despise us. Thet treat us with contempt, so much that when one of them tries to make anything better they round on him. The whole thing now is about not left and right, but us and them. It is easy to see where the distinction lies. Right here, it is the demarcation between the comments, where plebs are allowed, and the post above, which is invariably provided by a member of the political class or an aspirant thereto.

    Lbdems are all hypocrites. It is no wonder if their leader is the most hypocritical of all. What is the wonder is that we plebs are still willing to take it, to read the bubble stories and cling to some tribe, it doesn’t matter which, that only sees us as underlings.

  • Nat Churches Trust

    isn’t there some problem with a late baptism which means a Catholic school would not give his children a place?

    • Walter Ellis

      u ?

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