Shoddy work

8th September 2000 at 01:00
IT is not just pupils who face a testing time this year. With the general election expected in the spring, politicians are preparing for their own do-or-die examination.

This week, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats both submitted their latest piece of coursework - their "pre-manifestos" (page 12).

The Lib Dems' promise to cut class sizes, recruit teachers and abolish tuition fees could win them high marks. But the Tories don't seem to have done their homework properly. The idea that "free schools" will be pound;540 per pupil better off if the Tories abolish local education authorities isnonsense. School transport and special educational needs will still have to be paid for. And extra freedom for schools on admissions policies will reduce, not increase, parental choice.

The Conservatives have nothing to say about teacher shortages and morale - the Government's obvious Achilles heel - and further education is completely ignored.

It is difficult to escape the feeling that, like a lazy pupil revising, the Tories are trying to "question spot" without getting to grips with the whole curriculum. They had better buckle down to their studies. The test is approaching fast.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today