Ash Faulkner, an A level Politics Student from Devon, makes the case against "equality of opportunity" in education.
All leftists believe in equality of opportunity. At first glance, it seems a great idea. Why shouldn’t every child have the same standard of education, the same opportunities, the same shot at success? Certainly, the Old Left’s obsession with equality of outcome has been shown a catastrophic failure. Isn’t equality of opportunity the way to go?
The conservative answer should be no. Conservatives should, at all times, favour reality over idealism, and the reality is this: equality of opportunity is one of those ideas that sounds nice on paper, but is impossible in practice. The variables that are at work in a child’s educational development are so many that it is impossible for anyone – least of all the state – to guarantee equal standards. How, exactly, is the state going to ensure that every child receives the same familial support? What if one pupil simply has a more experienced teacher? Doesn’t the atmosphere of the school have any effect? Will pupils be banned from reading up on their subjects out of class?