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Is Suffolk's Tory Council
ignoring Tory educational thinking?

Much of the Council's argument for wanting to abolish three-tier schools hinges on the difference between two-tier and three-tier schools at Keystage Two (11+).

PAC believes this KS2 difference is not relevant in educational terms - it's a by-product of when children leave two- and three-tier primary schools. PAC has also shown that the Council's claim that the difference continues through to GCSEs is simply wrong - based on a mistaken interpretation of the data.

Here's what Tory shadow education secretary David Willetts has to say (press release, July 20, 2006, entitled "Teaching to educate, not teaching to test") about arbitrary measurements:

"When we have talked about education exclusively in terms of league tables and targets, we have separated ourselves from parents and teachers who feel that there is something missing. Much of what is valuable in education cannot be measured in tests and league tables, just as the value of life is not only about prices and markets. It doesn't mean education should decline into 'edutainment' interspersed by tests. Education must be a route to deeper happiness - the real fulfilment that comes from mastering an idea, mastering a skill, mastering a subject."

And here's Conservative Suffolk Councillor Bill Bishop, the first Tory Councillor to break ranks with the party line, in a letter to a concerned parent: "Of course I would like to see improvements in the education system but not just to get hands on a £500 million pot of Government money and put the Schools, Staff, Parents and most important The Children through a decade of continuous upset in their School lives."

Jan 29th 2007