« Tory MP: Global warming is my generation's Dunkirk | Main | Open thread on Queen's Speech »

Comments

While agreeing with the thrust of the post, what if the parents are completely disinterested in education themselves? Or in prison? Let's face it, the poor make up a large percentage in both groups.

This is shocking but not really unexpected. Much of it is the result of sixty years of municipal socialists meddling in education.

Interesting related piece in Telegraph by Leo McKinstry "In defence of the white working class".

The reason they differ from poor Indian and Chinese students is that these are immigrant groups who may well have been more middle class in their countries of origin, and so may well place a higher value on education.

This is an important area for us to engage with: it demonstrates the failure of the one-size-fits-all approach to education which leaves the weakest students behind.

Hardly a surprise when contemporary Britain and its three main political parties treat white male taxpayers as second class citizens.

From the report, are we to understand that the 49000 children, who cant write age 15 but who go on to get GCSEs, make excellent linguistic progress in their final year....


or that we should scrap GCSEs?

The McKinstry article is well worth reading:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/

I work in a higher education institution which traditionally had a mission to offer top-class education to the white working class. It's very notable how this mission has been largely abandoned, with claims that, according to our Diversity department, we now live in a "classless" society and therefore (?!) white social exclusion isn't a problem anymore. This 'classless' claim has no empirical basis - in fact social mobility has declined in Britain over the past 30 years.

This problem can be solved with very little effort and a simple philosophy:

Streaming, streaming, streaming
OR
Grammar schools, grammar schools, grammar schools

Not all of these kids can be saved. There's always some people beyond discipline. So here's the trick, instead of focussing on the worst ones, you focus on the best ones. You have to give them the opportunity to rise above, there must be a benefit attached to high achievement. This is NOT mean to the worst achievers. It gives HOPE to the vast majority who want to get somewhere. It also gives them someone to emmulate, so even if they are not the cream of the crop, they stay in line so as to be a part of the group.

Focussing your attention on the lowest common denominator is just another form of neglect. It fails to allow the brightest to succeed and thereby robs everyone of hope. It is better to spread the results out with some flying high, than elevate them all just a little. When kids need inspiration they need to look up, not sideways!

"Focussing your attention on the lowest common denominator is just another form of neglect": well said....but all three main parties now subscribe to the social justice of the lowest common denominator. Their mantra is equality of mediocrity.

Immigrants come to Britain in order to improve their lot. They are a self-selecting set of strivers and it would make sense to welcome a bit of their work ethic into our culture. This topic is an interesting contrast to the recent BNP thread.

Mark, this is the most sweeping of generalisations...and I am the grandchild of immigrants. SOME immigrants are undoubtedly a "self-selecting set of strivers" and I could introduce you to them. Whether all are is much more debateable, just as with those who already live here. How could you possibly know? Do you know them all....or is this just an article of faith?

"So here's the trick, instead of focussing on the worst ones, you focus on the best ones."
This is widely-accepted to be the best approach to dealing with badly behaved children and is often quoted in parenting literature. Why does the government not see the parallels?

Deborah @ 13.58: probably because this government, as was the case with all of its socialist predecessors, is inherently hostile to the principle of social mobility and would rather keep the proletariat in its place. Let's face it - once a bright working class child had made it into a grammar school and went on to convert the full potential of the formative years into a high quality adult life, what incentive would there be for that individual to vote Labour again?

The real test here is whether our party sees the parallels you describe and pledges to do something positive about them.

Exactly, David. The left in this country, especially now it is run by cultural Marxists, has a vested interest in a large badly-educated underclass which is economically dependent on the state.

Just like black males, I fear white working class males have a cultural problem of "not working", "sponging of the state". Cut social security spending and they definitely won't its cool not to study due to their shabby appearance.

British attitude to education is extremely poor, compare the work ethic to Chinese and Indian children then perhaps we would understand why those countries are expanding at the rate they are.

It has always struck me that as a country we have the best entertainment industry (outside the USA) and the worst education system. I’d gladly accept a dull media industry in exchange for an excellent education system.

It’s hard to identify what the fundamental cause of all this is. One factor is, I think, a sort of cultural vacuum that has developed amongst the indigenous population since the 1950s. Unlike the situation with many ethnic minorities, there has been a decline in religious observance together with a decline in respect for the family, teachers, police and other figures of authority. There’s been little to fill the gap apart from football, booze, drugs and the cult of celebrity. Gradually the white working class has been ignored or held up in contempt, which just promotes a vicious spiral of low self esteem, yobbishness and underachievement. It would be good to break the cycle by restoring some pride, energy and ambition.

How to do that is easier said than done. I suspect it will require action at both the micro as well as the macro level. Somehow we’ve got to overcome the sense of alienation felt by the white working class. I know there are important issues affecting minorities (e.g. unemployment affecting Muslims) but I think some balance has to be restored in public discourse, and much greater recognition about white working class feelings needs to be shown (Hug a Chav?). I know it may sound extremist to some, but how about promoting traditional Conservative values such as family, education, and work and combining that with some pride in the country and its historical contribution? There would also have to be some tough love as well, to reverse the disappearance of discipline in schools and to raise educational standards. Could we devise some form of “national service” for school leavers, to strengthen their self discipline and social responsibility? In the area of housing and benefits it would be good to return to Beveridge’s concept of the contributory priciple, not the appearance of a “free to allcomers” policy that causes so much resentment.

There’s a lot of latent talent and goodness out there, if only we would encourage it and harness it. At the moment all they hear is the sneering of the chattering classes towards them.

Finally, as a newcomer to this board I’d like to express my appreciation of IDS’s work on social issues. I admire him.

"Immigrants come to Britain in order to improve their lot. They are a self-selecting set of strivers "

Some are, some aren't. Some recent immigrant communities are much more dependent on welfare, and much more likely to be unemployed, than the average, although the reverse is also true.

To take one case, the immigration of spouses from the Pakistan and Bangladesh is one big driver of permanent immigration. Such spouses usually have little English, and few skills. They are most unlikely to make a positive economic contribution.

How could you possibly know? Do you know them all....or is this just an article of faith?

OK, I'll downgrade it to "most". This whole topic is based on generalisations and, to be honest, I thought my mine was a statement of the bleedin' obvious. It’s certainly borne out in the small group of immigrants that I know.

The reason why people fail at school is mainly because there is no desire to succeed.

There is nothing the government or teachers can do to solve the problem.

I believe the time has come that we face up to the fact that a person's future is in his own hands.

"The reason why people fail at school is mainly because there is no desire to succeed." - Michael you are so right and particularly no desire to succeed if that success has to be worked and striven for. There is a cult of "celebrity" which means far too many young people want nothing more than to be "famous" - preferably as a film star, footballer or footballer's wife!

I read this thread with interest. I am involved with education and often am looking at the difference between private and public education and the difference in the impact.
there is a definite perceived difference, parents at private schools paying fees do tend to be more involved in the child's education and take more interest in it. Not just because they are paying for it, but they are paying because they are more concerned etc.
This is a statement and at the same time, false. I say that because it is a guide and in some cases an unfair generalization but it is a general issue that doe s back up the findings of the IDS group. I think the report and findings are interesting and do highlight that we need to work hard to enforce and encourage stable families to build social responsibility and care so that we can then, to quote another poster, all be in control of our own futures....together.

I cannot agree with Michael at 14.39; children have varying abilities and the real problem over the last 40 years has been the left's and the edcucationalist's determination to engage in a social engineerining experiment which has been a disaster for far too many.

The latter has included abolishing grammar schools (about which too many Tories who send their kids private have not given a fig), the disappearance of discipline (yes, I did have the cane and it did not do me any harm, but even worse the schools' inability to exclude the real trouble makers), the decline of academic standards (a determination that all must have prizes; cf no more team sports); and it must be said a deterioration in some teaching standards (I remember my teacher asking me at 14 odd to check his spelling and grammar). And I also forgot to mention the demasculinisation (aplogies for that, but I am sure you get my drift) of school education.

Suits NuLab, as a bunch of morons dependant on the state, will keep them in power and jobs for ever.

Jaz:
"British attitude to education is extremely poor, compare the work ethic to Chinese and Indian children then perhaps we would understand why those countries are expanding at the rate they are."

It might be better to compare British education to more similar cultures, like USA and Canada. The USA hasn't got a brilliant education system overall but it doesn't seem to have the problem of white working-class underachievement that we do.

I can't help wondering how an orthodoxy that frowns on competitive sports-days can, at the same time, support the Olympic games. Is it the glamour or the money that makes the difference?

It irritates me that my tax money will have to go towards funding the education these people don't take advantage of and funding the benefits they claim because they can't be bothered to work.

"I know it may sound extremist to some, but how about promoting traditional Conservative values such as family, education, and work and combining that with some pride in the country and its historical contribution?"

That will only sound extremist to left-wing extremists.

"Could we devise some form of “national service” for school leavers, to strengthen their self discipline and social responsibility?"

The only problem with this is that a)once again the poor taxpayer will have to fund it (and I suspect mostly those who won't need it) and b)it will be a great irritation to those who don't actually have any use for it. If after school I'd been forced to do national service just because a bunch of ne-er-do-wells i.e. not me were in need of some discipline I'd have been very peeved.

I have taught in a school dominated by white working class boys for 16 years. They are, in the main, very nice people who tend to land on their feet economically and make a good contribution. Some (quite many actually) even grow up to vote Conservative- obviously a wise choice. One should not read too much into statistics

Sean, thank you: spot on as usual.

Mark, sorry if I was a bit tart but doesn't your point about the small group of immigrants you know sum it all up? From my personal experience, I vehemently agree. However, you and I are well-educated, reasonably affluent members of the middle classes immunised (in large part) from the social problems which have undoubtedly been created by unstructured mass immigration, often by people with fundamentalist religious beliefs from failed and/or sectarian states. It is those problems which the political establishment is pretending do not exist and which the BNP is exploiting.

"Suits NuLab, as a bunch of morons dependant on the state, will keep them in power and jobs for ever." George 15:20

Maybe not, if these "white working class boys" are attracted to the BNP.

This is, for me, one of the great (largely unspoken) tragedies of our age. The once proud and self-reliant British working class have had everything taken away from them and all their pride destroyed by successive interventions from the state -- caused by politicians who were apparently well-motivated but who ought to have better seen the consequences of their actions.

For the white middle-classes, the destruction of the two-parent family has been liberating; it has been a cause of incalculable misery for the white working class. It's been a cause of crime, poor education and dependency on the state. The well-to-do have known for a long time just how poor a parent the state is for those taken into care, but this has not made them rethink their trendy policies. The same thing applies to the destruction of religion, which was more than encouraged by those from on high. The place of the once proud Non-conformist churches has once again been usurped by the state, and who we all know is a terrible benefactor.

A country that once had almost zero crime and zero unemployment, with excellent literacy and numeracy even in those at the "bottom", has now got millions of people who can barely read or write, have little prospect of employment and are totally dependent on others for their subsistence.

This is *not* due to the "laziness" of the white working classes! This is due to the cruel and stupid ideas of those who have interfered in their lives!

The story of the white working class has been almost full scale assault from the white middle class. Since they do not fit into "victim" status, as other groups do, it's been perfectly okay to vilify them. The word "chav" is used with a free and easy manner by those who would shudder and reprimand if similar words were used to describe another ethnic group. Similarly, white working class concerns regarding immigration, grammar schools, positive discrimination in welfare or employment, political correctness in general, have been almost entirely ignored. Any concerns raised -- almost inevitably in an inarticulate manner -- are condemned as "racist", when it is actually those doing the condemning who have acted the most racist with their actions.

Sadly, few seem to realise the link between the greedy-self promoting actions of liberals in the 60's who promoted their own freedom at the expense of others, and the degeneration in life for those at the bottom. They do not wish to see this link, because it means abandoning all the assumptions they've grown to love. David Cameron tells us we must love Britain as it is today, does this mean that we must love the changes that have caused such misery to so many?

IDS: "The policy-making implications are clear. To prevent the growth of an uneducated and unemployable underclass of forgotten children, we have to get their parents to engage in their learning and schooling from an early age.”

Hmmm, sounds a bit NuLab to me: Let's tell working class parents how to raise their children, because obviously they can't do it on their own. Maybe we could send them books to read to their children. Oh, wait, Labour tried that. Or maybe parents could be sent to classes to learn how to tell their children nursery rhymes. Blast! Beverley Hughes has beat us to it! Maybe we should just take these children away from their parents and have them raised by the state.


I doubt if very many members of the middle classes actually do find family breakdown liberating, John. I think you're denouncing a fairly narrow (if influential) section of middle class opinion.

What is the case is that the whole process of family breakdown has been much less pronounced in middle class circles. It is still the norm for middle class children to be born to married couples; in turn, they are much less likely to get divorced than working class parents; religious observance is much more common among the middle classes and so on. In short, most middle class people live in ways that are quite similar to the way their equivalents did 40 or 50 years ago.

But because most of us generalise on the basis of our own personal experiences, it means that many middle class people have little idea of the real damage that has been done further down the income scale by family breakdown, and children growing up without fathers.

Absolutely right, Sean. I know what point John is making but this member of the middle classes did not find family breakdown particularly liberating. However, if family breakdown has to happen, then the middle classes tend to be better placed financially to weather the severe storm. Working class people don't stand a chance. For them family breakdown is economically ruinous. This reinforces the cycle of breakdown, deprivation and dependancy which is of course what the left wants.

O/T: Click here: petition for Blair to resign
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/Resign/

"But because most of us generalise on the basis of our own personal experiences, it means that many middle class people have little idea of the real damage that has been done further down the income scale by family breakdown, and children growing up without fathers."

Very well said. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where it is actually possible to leave the door unlocked and where violent crime is exceptional. It is hard for me to imagine just how bad things are elsewhere and I suspect this applies to many other people. Unfortunately this can lead to people not really caring because either a)they can't believe things are really that bad or b)it doesn't affect them so despite the lip-service they pay to cracking down in crime, they're not really that concerned.


Richard, there really are many areas of the country where life is delightful, if you have money, and still pretty good, even if you have only an average income. If, say, you were a professional person living in South Devon, or North Yorkshire, or most of rural Hertfordshire, you might very well assume that stories from the inner cities and some of our grottier towns were exaggerations.

I encountered this type of naivety once at a rich rural family's dinner party where we started talking about euthanasia. I argued against it on the ground that legacy-hungry relatives would put emotional pressure on older testators to kill themselves, and found that they simply couldn't comprehend that anyone would do such a thing. I doubt if, say, an urban lower middle class family would find anything strange about what I was saying.

Oh dear, S.E.L. Shows a level of complacency that too often characterises this debate. It is clear that what has gone wrong is the collapse of family structire for most of these choldren. In Chinese and some other communities children come home to a family which is for the most part supportive and clear about the part education plays in their future. In these broken families too often drugs, alcohol abuse and transient fatherhood are all that they have. It seems to me that what this report shows is that in the longer term our record levels of family breakdown have to be arrested if children in the estates are to be given a chance. Other countries have done it, Britain is alone in failing to understand the vital role played by such family structure. By the way S.E.L. The record of children in care is much worse. The fault is surely the opposite. This govt has been taking more and more responsibility away from parents we need to get them to become more responsible, not less. Nothing new Labour there....This looks like a fascinating report by IDS and the group.

Gadfly, I was being sarcastic when I suggested that children should be taken away from their parents.

I agree that stable families are good for children, but it doesn't necessary solve this particular problem of educational underachievement. Two parents that don't give a damn about education won't be any more beneficial than one parent that doesn't give a damn.

"This govt has been taking more and more responsibility away from parents we need to get them to become more responsible, not less."

I think you are conflating to separate issues: BEING responsible, and HAVING responsibilities. It makes sense to take responsibilities away from those who are irresponsible. Giving someone more responsibilities does not make them more responsible (this seems to be a frequent assumption). Giving an irresponsible person more responsibilities will just mean that they screw more things up.

So we either give people many responsibilities (and allow some to fail) or we give few responsibilities, let the state take on more, and thereby let fewer people fail (in theory anyway). I think that people should have many responsibilities (and the state few), and therefore I accept that certain individuals or groups may not do so well. The other option of course is to MAKE people more responsible... with a Nobel prize to whoever figures that one out.

This is a vital debate. The issue is that there is a growing minority of people who take no interest in their children. They have grown up thinking the state must do everything. Some of this people are unable to form stable family structures and in the worst cases some drift into drugs/alcohol. Many of their children grow up troubled and with no structures in life and no decent father figure. In fact both Blair and DC are right when they talk about causes of crime as well as being tough on crime. The trouble was that Labour never did it. DC is also right wehn he suggests some of these kids have never recieved proper love. I think we have to show tough love. We have to expect youngstres to engage in the community and learn social responsibility. That should include some forms of national service. It will take a long time as some of them are too far gone to respond and also parents need to learn new things. I think we have to reward parents that help their communities so that a new generation of socially responsible people can grow up. Measures should include council tax relief for those that engage in society and thus save councils money,

Matt

The great success of the Clinton era in the US was the welfare reforms he put through with Republican backing.

They cut payments and got people out to work because they could no longer "Sponge off the state".

OK, here in UK, we might not have the mindset, still suffering from the draining of the entreprenurial gene pool when all the European risk takers went to the Americas in the 16th 17th and early 18th centuries, but we have to make it almost, not quite, but almost, impossible to live on welfare.

Truth is we have a bizarre system which leaves the very poorest and most vulnerable with not enough, helps in a very minor way those who don't really need help and provides enough to about 7M people for them to live in bad conditions, but which is still, just, enough for them to refuse to go look for work.

We have to take welfare payments just below that line, not keep it just above it.

"Very well said. I am fortunate enough to live in an area where it is actually possible to leave the door unlocked"

Richard you must be incredibly trusting if you think that.

In Modern Britain (the one Cameron tells us we should love) there are NO areas where it's safe to leave the door unlocked.

John, while there is no doubt there are real problems with crime, it is an exaggeration to say that there are no areas where you can leave your door unlocked. People just don't tend to leave doors unlocked nowadays but in fact in quite a few rural areas you would be fine and quite probably some parts of urban areas as well.

Your jibe about DC saying we should love Modern Britain is misleading. I certainly love my country even though I know there are problems in it that need solving. I'm proud to be a British patriot. I think what DC is syaing is that we have to look forward as a party not back. If we get into a mindset (which I think we did at one point) of just whingeing about everything we look ridiculous, out of touch and achieve nothing. Thatcher after all set out to embrace modern Britain if you remember. She invited designers etc to Nos 10 etc etc and very much played the same tunes as DC is doing. Also we have to offer hope. Pretty much all elections are fundamentally won by parties that offer hope and opportunity. You don't win by saying, "well actually I don't like this country, its going to the dogs etc"

Matt

Thatcher after all set out to embrace modern Britain if you remember. She invited designers etc to Nos 10 etc etc and very much played the same tunes as DC is doing

_____________________________________________________

If you seriously believe that, you were clearly not around at the time.

Thatcher pulled us out of the mire of socialism and gave us a return to greatness. She didn't go round drivelling that she was the Heir to Wilson or whatever. She - like me - despised the socialists, their sick ("permissive") society and everything else they stood for.

Modern Britian today is "Blair's Britain". It's sick, violent, immoral, socialist. As William Hague rightly said - it's a "foreign land".

I don't love it. I despise it. And I despise anybody who tells me I should love it. That means "hug a hoodie" Cameron comes close to the top of my list.

I want to change this mess - not support it.

Of course we look to the future and we look to the future by offering real change - like Thatcher did - not more of the disgusting same.

TL, Firstly I was around when Thatcher was in power and repeat she made a very clear effort to appear modern by inviting designers etc into Nos 10 and also talking about green issues. This is a matter of historical record and if you recall it led to some embarrasement when a clothes designer (Katherine Hmanett?) turned up with anti-nuclear messages on a t-shirt.
On your other points you totally exaggerate which doesn't actually help Conservatism because people just recoil and stop listening to us,

Matt

ok, so boys may not do well in their GCSEs but is it all their fault? i mean in my school, the boys did better than the girls in their exams, because to be honest i believe they had more support from their parents. And to be truthfull, i dont see what exactly the government are doing to help. Okay, so their raising the age limit of leaving school to 18, but kids leave school before the age of sixteen now, and thats the legal age limit. Who says the kids are going to listen when the age limit goes up?
if you have any other things you think that the government are doing to help, please comment

Hello everyone. I have the worst memory ever so no matter who comes up to me - they're just, like, 'I can't believe you don't remember me!" I'm like, 'Oh Dad I'm sorry!' Help me! Please help find sites for: Oak bathroom medicine cabinets. I found only this - afrocentric bathroom cabinets. E mail will not be published required. The lvhsystems carpet name is virtually synonymous with superior carpet cleaning. With love :cool:, Truitt from Ukraine.

Have a look at this recent email 'exchange' between me and my local MP. It tells you all you need to know.

Sent: 29 June 2009 12:50
To: FITZPATRICK, Jim (MP)
Subject:

Mr Fitzpatrick,

a few weeks ago I came across a report by Edward Leigh MP about the university participation rates of working-class youngsters. (I think it was in the Telegraph which illustrated the article with a photograph of a young white kid with a can of beer in his hand!)

This is what Mr Leigh had to say: "A lot of money, £392 million over five years up to 2007-08, was allocated to the universities to increase the proportion of working class youngsters who go on to university courses. It is dismaying that government seems to have little idea what the universities have been doing with this money. Certainly, progress has been poor. The rate at which working class young people participate in higher education has increased by only two percentage points.'.
I think we can do better. As a local MP you will be very familiar with Tower Hamlets College in Poplar High street. I have some figures on THC students from Tower Hamlets Council. Amazingly, they state that 11% of THC's students are white. I have passed THC a thousand times and I have never seen more than a handful of white students.

I think we can improve on this. Perhaps the government can allocate some money which would be specifically targeted at raising the number of white students attending local FEs.

If all the whites pupils in Tower Hamlets, and their parents, were contacted and East-End Life and other local media, joined the campaign, I am sure that a substantial increase in the percentage of local white pupils could be achieved. It is nearly July but we could still make an impact on the next academic year. If we can do here it then we can do it anywhere.

A local support group could also be created. I know of quite a few people who would be happy to help.

Yours
R Brown

Dear Mr Brown,

Tower Hamlets had a higher increase in young people going onto further and higher education than any local authority in the country over the last 10 years,

Best Wishes, Jim

From: Richard Brown [mailto:negativeepip@hotmail.co.uk]

The only way we are going to improve the education of these children is by acknowledging an extremely unpleasant fact, which one or two commentators have already alluded to: for the last 25 years both the Left and the Right have been shitting all over these kids.

RB

Bob Bailey, who leads the BNP opposition on Barking council, outlined his career: son of a steelworker in Scunthorpe, 12 years in the marines, and now employed by "the security industry". The steelworks had sacked his dad, who never worked again, and now faced an uncertain future under Indian ownership. "We don't make anything any more, we don't own anything any more. It's an absolute disgrace. The country's just knackered. People have given up hope. They don't believe in anything, not in themselves, not in their neighbourhoods, not in their history. "

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/nov/21/ian-jack-nick-griffin-bnp

What the "fascist" ex-Royal Marine is saying is true, isn't it Tories?

The comments to this entry are closed.

#####here####

Categories

ConHome on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Conservative blogs

    Today's public spending saving

    New on other blogs

    • Receive our daily email
      Enter your details below:
      Name:
      Email:
      Subscribe    
      Unsubscribe 

    • Tracker 2
    • Extreme Tracker