* The Sunday Telegraph. Children who don't like school would be better off if they were allowed to work in factories Parents want schools for two reasons. First, they want easy child-minding. Second, if they are aspirational parents who have swallowed the "educational" fallacy, they think schools are a means of getting on in life. It is this delusory notion that politicians milk for all they are worth. The ones who suffer - even those who attend the "best" schools - are the children.
We should stop wasting money on this farce. School should be voluntary. Is it any wonder non-bookish children play truant from the self-righteous hell-holes we force them to attend? It would be much kinder and more enlightened if we repealed Lord Shaftesbury's Factory Acts and allowed children to go out to do a job at the age of 10.
Columnist AN Wilson, Sunday