False dawn of Blair's Britain

22nd September 2000 at 01:00
ON May 2, 1997, I got my son up to watch Tony Blair on TV heralding a new dawn. I tried to explain to him that he was watching history: that Tony and his Government were going to make the country a fairer place to live in.

Tonight I watched Mr Blair on TV again as he attacked comprehensives like the one now attended by my son: a school which has just enabled two-thirds of its pupils to achieve at least five A-to-C passes at GCSE. At the same time, it has supported pupils rejected by more selective schools, and has provided a specialist educatin for 12 deaf pupils.

It is easy for Mr Blair to say "could do better", but I fail to see what is wrong with a system that can enable a broad range of pupils to achieve such success. In fact, the thought of large sections of my community being condemned to some sort of second-class education, as was the case when he and I were at school, fills me with horror.

If Mr Blair screws up the education of a whole generation, history will not forgive him.

Cliff Turner

2 Nations Hill

Kings Worthy

Winchester, Hampshire

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