The state of play

16th July 2010 at 01:00

As a committed teacher trade unionist, I have some reservations about references to "state education" in the current debate over academies.

No such thing as state education has ever existed in Britain (outside the brains, perhaps, of some left-wing ideologues.) Education on a popular scale was started by the Churches in the 19th century. At first, the state gave some small grants in aid. As time went on, a dual system was established with funding and management of schools shared between government and religious bodies. That, though it is often forgotten, is still the situation today.

In addition, we have the totally independent sector, which educates about 10 per cent of our children. So let us get things in perspective and not be seduced into believing that some chimerical one-size-fits-all system exists.

Andrew McLuskey, Staines, Middlesex.

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