The real facts of life about schools

5th March 2004 at 00:00
The irony that Marj Adams should return "uplifted", as she puts it, from a Joan Baez concert to then attack me for arguing we should all be altruistic in our approach to society (TESS, February 20) is clearly lost on her. No surprise there then.

Never slow to let her opinion get in the way of the facts and thus yet again miss the point, Marj accuses me of removing parental choice. What I actually argued was that we all need to remember that there are consequences from all our choices, even the choice of school we make for our children.

Marj suggests I don't understand the power of parental love even though I write as the parent of a school-age family. I was arguing that people should make sure they know the real facts about a school, or about proposed changes to a school, before they make their choices, as opposed to believing league table mythologies or the ideology of education being a product to be purchased rather than the basis upon which we build society.

Marj's solution to all this is to throw pots of money at those schools perceived as "having problems". Such a strategy, if you can call it that, would mean all of us paying higher taxes than at present. Tax, of course, is the way we all contribute to the betterment of society, which sounds dangerously altruistic for our Marj.

Ewan Aitken

Executive Member for Youth Strategy and Education

City of Edinburgh Council

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