Why Tories and media cannot stomach GCSE success story
Posted on 27 August 2009 | 4:08pm
Lots of happy young people around today as the GCSE success story unfolds around the country.
Cue lots of middle-aged, middle-class, media-driven moaning about dumbing down.
There is something peculiarly and unpleasantly British about the refusal to take at face value the idea that in part because of extra investment, in part because of sustained commitment, and above all because young people in Britain are not nearly as bad as they are often painted, standards are rising to record levels.
To those who have received good results, I say well done for all the hard work you put into it, and well done to your schools and teachers for managing to teach you well despite all the space in your lives that goes on social networking, fads, trends, clothes, and crap telly programmes.
And understand that the reason the media questioning of your success increases with every rise in standards is that the vast bulk of newspaper editors, columnists, commentators, broadcast executives and senior broadcasters send their own kids to private schools, and their coverage of State schools is slanted to justify their own choices.
When their kids do well, it’s because they are good caring parents and their kids are jolly bright. When you do well, it is because of dumbing down. It is called snobbery. And nonsense.
Interesting to see in Alan Milburn’s recent report on social mobility that the percentage of journalists using the private sector is rising considerably. Maybe they actually believe all the bilge that fills their columns on State schools, the vast bulk of which do a great job, and the vast bulk of which are better than they were under the Tories.
That’s the same Tories who ventilate the dumbing down charge by having a policy for public services rooted mainly in the idea of talking them down.