Problems with putting price on pupils' heads

5th November 2010 at 00:00

"Mum, why does the school get paid to teach me, but they don't get paid to teach Harry?"

"Because, dear, Harry is rich and you are poor. Schools don't want poor pupils. But they're fighting over the rich ones."

"But why, Mum?"

"Because, petal, poor children just don't do very well at school. They're not as clever. And their exam results aren't as good."

Is this really the kind of system we want?

Politicians are basically saying, "Look, we know no one wants the poor kids, but seriously, we'll pay you a lot to teach them. Why? Because we believe they won't do well."

And when they don't do well ... well, we'll all know it was because they were poor. Not because we all wrote them off as soon as they set foot in the door.

Janine Hartley, Student, Nottingham.

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