On the naughty step - Conduct that deserves a ticking off

30th March 2012 at 01:00

This week: Boris Johnson

Oh, Boris. You've been entertaining as London's mayor, you're a spiffing speaker and you've even made some sensible decisions.

But now you've gone and ruined it by attacking the capital's schools and blaming them for last year's riots. In an interview with The Guardian, you warned that education in some boroughs was "chillingly bad" and suggested that poor literacy among children in the city was part of the reason for the "nihilism" shown by the looters and arsonists, as well as for black youth unemployment.

As a result, you're planning to gallop to the rescue with your inquiry into education in London, and your plans to take more strategic control. Except ... did you actually bother to read your own inquiry's first report last month?

It features page after page of graphs showing that London schools outperform the average for England on every measure. Yes, including literacy, English Baccalaureate passes and black pupils' GCSE results.

London's schools are doing brilliantly. It's possibly the only capital in the Western world with better results than its country's average. Yet its schools are still hampered by a grim public image - and that won't change until politicians like you, Boris, stop spouting pyramids of piffle.

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