Monday, January 09, 2006

What IS she talking about?

Following on with the theme of profound words from our polititions, thesed words of wisdom come from Radio 5 interview with Education Secretary, Ruth Kelly, quoted in The Times:-

RUTH KELLY ON 5 LIVE YESTERDAY

Ruth Kelly: In 1998 we outlawed in primary legislation the ability to elect by academic ability.

Nicky Campbell: Yes, so schools will never be able to admit on academic ability . . . just on sporting ability and musical ability and other abilities? That makes no sense.

RK: If you say that 10 per cent, one in ten of . . . er . . . pupils at a school have some talent in sport of music or art . . . er . . . and then that the school builds up an expertise which it then shares and has to be able to share by sharing teachers and facilities and so forth with other neighbouring schools. I think people think that that is just sensible . . .

NC: What if 10 per cent have a particular ability in Latin and French and history — what is the difference?

RK: Well you know we’re talking about an 11 plus system . . .

NC: I didn’t mention the 11 plus at all.

RK: Well academic . . . er . . . selection by academic ability . . . er . . . generally is on a system that you either pass . . . er . . . or fail, that you are either seen as a success or written off as a failure. I think that is totally divisive, I would never want to go back to that sort of system, completely different to the Conservatives, who now say . . . er . . . that the main difference between them and us is that they want to see a . . . er . . . school able to select by academic ability. Instead what we are doing is saying that schools ought to play to their strengths . . .

Errr, right, that's all clear then.....

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