Forty Years Of Failure
We have some very good individual schools, including some good comprehensives, but the system as a whole simply does not achieve enough. International results put Britain so far down the league tables that it must be time to look at another way of doing things. Between 2000 and 2003, for instance, the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) showed the UK slipping from fourth to 11th in science and from eighth to 18th in maths. However, there was one dazzlingly good result: when Pisa divided state schools from the private sector in 31 developed countries, our independent schools came top of the 62 groups.
So if Britain is running the best schools in the world, why are we not also running the best state schools? I think, after 46 years in and around teaching, that I know the answer. An outworn ideology prevents the country from learning from the successful model in its midst.
More than three quarters of people believe that bright children should be taught separately to push them further, according to a new study.
The overwhelming majority either want more streaming by ability in comprehensive schools or the chance to send high-fliers to selective grammar schools.
Almost as many people said that weaker children could also benefit from being segregated at school, said the report by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), a Right-wing think-tank.