Kevin Rooney

Leave ‘social mobility’ outside the school gate

Education is not a tool for social justice, but for developing children’s minds, so fix the economy first before expecting teachers to solve a problem for politicians

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What are schools and education for? I ask because, today, the answer is no longer clear. I believe that the core mission of a school should be the transmission of knowledge and cultivation of pupils’ intellectual curiosity. Yet I fear my view may now be in the minority.

In recent years, education has been transformed into an instrument of public policy by successive governments – a means of achieving objectives that are entirely external to learning. Today, both left and right wings seem to agree that education should be about promoting social mobility, even if some people on the left prefer ...

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