I have often wondered how Doctors feel when trying to have a quiet drink after a hard day at the office and a patient comes up and starts the conversation about some symptom or another. Now I know.
Its been a long time since I felt annoyed enough to try and punch someones lights out, but tonight I came really close and was ready to try.
Why is it that everyone who went to school, have children who go to school or university seem to be experts in the education system and seem to think that every child in this country has the same opportunities that they had. This is a preposterous idea.
Social mobility or what ever the latest government terminology is which purports to give everyone an even chance is as far away now as it was for my grandfather. Not every child in every school or college in the country has the same opportunities and that is a fact. When you look at the education system in this country there is a gulf between good schools and bad schools in every town let alone the north south divide.
So tonight while I was having a quiet pint as I do on a Friday night when I was led into a discussion that started with the following sentence. The Sixth Form College is were all the bright kids go and the Oldham College is for all the other kids who are not intelligent enough to try for university.
I tried to explain that not everyone learns in the same way or has equal opportunities in this world and that the Oldham College suits people who learn by doing rather than learning academically and that it is possible to get to university from the college even though it might take twelve months longer, trying very hard to give a balanced response.
My annoyance came from the fact in five minutes this person undermined the hard work and dedication of the staff of an institution that probably at some point over the past hundred or so years has educated at least one member of his family. Has given thousands of students the opportunity to to go to university or get jobs in industry.
At this point the argument gathered momentum, then he introduced the argument that the Oldham College should not be allowed to sponsor the Waterhead Academy because it would profit them to suppress pupils attainment so they would have more students therefore making the college more sustainable.
This as anyone who works under the rigorous inspection framework of OFSTED knows would be organisational suicide. He had totally chosen to overlook the fact that schools have by law a board of governors recruited not only from local government, local business and even the Sixth Form College but are responsible for the institution delivering the best possible opportunities and education possible.
He couldn’t understand why the college was forcing the two schools to merge which in his eyes would be a disaster, I pointed out that it was the local education authority under the building schools for the future scheme who had in fact made the decision and that the partnership of the two colleges and the council formulated the plan to deliver the project.
I sometimes despair that people always compare situations to there own lifestyle and make rash statements without any research and make wild accusations that are totally unsubstantiated.
It seems strange to me that I went out to try and forget my working week and finished up embroiled in what can only be described as someone else’s misinformed rant.
The beer still tasted good though.