The GCSE results announced last week are a bitter testament to the denial and deception of socialists and
professional educationalists who hold that only the State should provide education and that any form of private provision is “unfair”. Yet the unfairness inflicted on the young of being denied an equal chance of an education to fit them for life is of such an order as to constitute wickedness.
The top 80% of independent schools had an average of over 63% of their students achieving A* or A-equivalent grades. In state schools only 15% were awarded an A or A*, down from 16.8% in 2011. This is a catastrophe for the students and a crippling handicap for the future of our country in a world that is now entirely competitive.
It is very difficult to find the separate statistics for State comprehensive schools as they are included in State schools data which of course include very high performing grammar schools where those still survive. The truth is concealed and the voices of those who speak out are drowned in the cacophony of outraged teacher trades unions. But parents will know that their children have fallen far behind and that they will not have the equal opportunity that is their right.
What compounds this disgraceful blight on the nation’s youth is the fact that those in poor areas fall behind further than in wealthier areas. Comprehensive education provided by the State not only fails but also penalises those at most disadvantage. So far from “fairness” State comprehensive education has produced an educational apartheid for the poor.
The cause of all this failure is the endemic delusion that the State must provide education. But the State is a grotesquely inefficient provider of services and goods. It is deeply biased by political and social theory and its monopoly enterprises are dominated by trade union activists. But only 7% of us are able to afford private education. All the rest have to take what the State provides and are expected to be grateful.
In every part of our national life from which the State has been removed (steel and coal production, telecoms, transport, manufacturing) the result has been a bursting out of enterprise and variety with costs being sensitive to consumers.
As those who have read my articles will know I hold to the principle that the State should do what the State alone can do. Its primary function must be the security of the nation, both in defence and by its laws, and its relations with other nations. Above all it must raise revenues to promote conditions of equal opportunity for all.
Parents should be able to require that what the State expends on education be applied, at their direction, in meeting fees of the schools they choose. Schools will not only flourish but new ones will be created where and for whom they are needed. That alone will give hope for those now snared in the net of the comprehensive State regime.