This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Gosh, I've found a UKIP policy I can agree with!

I have been spending sometime reading and thinking about UKIP policies as published on their "Policies for People" (as opposed to aliens, Parisian tigers and gay climate scientists, I assume...) website. It is a tough job but someone has to spend part of their Sundays doing it.

And I happened across this one which I reprint exactly as it is shown on their website (as of today, until they revise it of course...)

Actually, strangely, I could support this. "What?!?", I hear you say. Let me explain...

Existing schools - that means all schools. Yup! Even schools in areas where there are already grammar schools (as there are in Bucknghamshire). So this means all the secondary modern schools (ie the non grammar ones that don't tend to call themselves secondary moderns anymore) in Bucks could all apply to become grammar schools. They might have to 'consult' Buckinghamshire County Council, but that is all. The local authority, under this policy, clearly has no final say in the matter. Indeed, all these schools could be come Academies and remove themselves from local authority control (like all the existing grammars have done already) altogether.

So we could then have a situation in Bucks where all the secondary schools are then grammar schools, selecting on "ability and aptitude". And they could do this at whatever threshold they like. So the local Buckingham School could set its threshold as being the top 5% and 'undercut' the local grammar, The Royal Latin School. Indeed, we could get into a sort of bidding war over the levels of ability that each school might be prepared to accept.

Meanwhile of course, the 11 year olds who are not in the top 15%, 10% or 5% (wherever the 'market' in selection thresholds gets set..) won't have a school to go to... Hmm. That could be tricky.

Moreover, as the policy says this is about all existing schools and "ages will be flexible", this could apply to primary schools as well! So we could have a whole bunch of 7 year olds being bussed from Buckingham to Aylesbury to attend the closest non selective primary school... That will work then!

So why do I agree with this policy? Because I would love to see the sheer bloomin' chaos that would ensue from this policy! This would expose just how much UKIP does not understand the world and the subtlety of creating policies that are really about making the world a better place.

Oh but hang on, the very existence of this official policy already does that...!

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