sun 18/08/2019

Unequal Opportunities, BBC Two | reviews, news & interviews

Unequal Opportunities, BBC Two

Unequal Opportunities, BBC Two

John Humphrys asks how we can close the equality gap for kids in state schools

John Humphrys asks what can be done when 'rich thick kids do better than poor clever kids'Copyright: Matt Prince
There’s an equality gap in our education system. Poor kids come bottom of the class, while rich kids are destined for the elite universities. In the eloquent words of education minister Michael Gove: “Rich thick kids do better than poor clever kids.” And we’ve got loads of stats to back this up.

But bad schools really can be turned around. And, Humphrys finds, it’s all about leadership

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"eloquent"? rich thick kids? if there are rich thick kids then there must be poor thick kids, but what politician would ever refer to them in those terms? quotable, maybe but hardly eloquent. is it ok to call a child thick because their parents are rich?

The choice of school they focused on in Wimboldon with kids being bussed in was a bit bizarre. John Paul the II School is a Catholic school with the usual admissions rules that go along with that. Like most Catholic schools its admission rules are based on on baptism and churchgoing - hence kids are bussed in. As far as I know children can't be offered a place at a faith school unless they apply for it, so presenting it as a sink school where 'poor children are dumped' seemed a bit odd.

I'm going through the process of visiting and applying for schools in a fairly deprived area of South London now and having to figure out the best of the limited choices on offer. It's time consuming, depressing and I'm resigned to believing my child will not end up in a school of choice.

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