Monday, 4 June 2007

A gift for Dave the Chameleon?

Here is something that ought to play to Dave the Chameleon’s showdown with those in his party that advocate selective education. Will he be able to restrain his new News of the World "Alastair Campbell", or will we be seeing veiled accusations of racism trotted out against advocates of selection?

A report produced by a campaign group, the Runnymede Trust, suggests increased school choice does little to enhance the opportunities of black pupils saying: black ethnic minority parents find it difficult to exercise choice, this can lead to further segregation and that many found the complexities in applying to selective schools off-putting.

They say that because many parents find it difficult to exercise choice, they downgrade their options before selecting schools.

The campaign group also say that people with English as a second language tended to choose the school closest to them – except in the case when it came to those selecting single sex schools, there it was not a problem.

Parents trying to get their children into schools in local authority areas with a high number of schools that control their own admissions, found the process especially difficult, the report said.

Choice policies could also lead to young people from different ethnic groups being kept apart, the report argued.

It seems to be from the direction of the report that the problem isn’t so much with selective education, as some parents (and probably not just those with English as a second language) unwillingness to use it as it is meant to be. You can lead a horse to water…