Thursday, 28 February 2008

Kelso girl caught in London earthquake!

Can I get away with this 'headline' so reminiscent of 'Aberdeen Man Drowns' after the sinking of the Titanic? Why not!

Not sure I can quite claim to be a Kelsonian these days though, having left the town when I was 18, currently a resident of Glasgow and soon to move to Cumbernauld.

I'm even more certain that I can't get away with describing myself as a 'girl' these days either!

Anyway, I was indeed in London the night before last when the earthquake hit. I woke up to my bed shaking slightly, but then fell back asleep. It wasn't until I saw the big fuss being made on the news the next morning that I even remembered the incident!

While in London, I also got the local London BBC news. One report captured my attention. I was in London the day that parents across the city would receive letters telling them if their child has been accepted to their school of 'choice'. Apparently, only half of all children would be going to their school of choice (or more accurately the school of their parents' choice).

This is what I've always found so bizarre about the New Labour 'choice' agenda. By its very nature there are always going to be people who don't get the option they choose. If people feel the need to choose one school over an other, then it is usually because they think one school is superior. Given that parents make these decisions based on things like the attainment levels at various schools, there are always going to be schools that are seen as more desirable than the rest. And it follows that the vast majority of parents will want to send their children to these more desirable schools. It also follows, as places in these desirable schools are not infinite, that not everyone is going to get a place at one of them. So the pupils who get into one of the preferred schools chosen by their parents will feel that choice was a good thing. For the rest, what choice did they really have?

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