Tories' Swedish love-in

25th February 2005 at 00:00
We found ourselves fallen among free marketeers last week, invited to see the Tories stage a couple of seminars to boost their credentials among parents and patients (education and health, in other words).

The speakers included an array of frighteningly self-assured, young, right-wing think-tankers, convinced they had found the Right Way. The party spiced up its message by presenting Sweden, for years the darling of the welfare left, as its ideal model which had gone all out to bring in parent choice of school.

We were certainly eager to hear what Mikael Sandstrom, an adviser to the Swedish Moderate Party, had to say. And we did - sort of. So eager was Sandstrom to rush to Scotland to spread the gospel that he forgot his passport and had to wait for a later flight.

But a colleague, Frederik Erixon from Swedish think-tank Timbro, was equal to the task of picking up Sandstrom's Powerpoint presentation - mostly anyway. "I'm not quite sure what Mikael meant by this," Erixon confessed at one stage.

The job of presenting the view from the classroom fell to Lisa Neil, a young English and drama teacher recently arrived at Holy Rood High in Edinburgh from Peebles High. They loved her when she talked exclusion, but were probably less certain when Neil demanded more classroom assistants, more teachers and more preparation time for teachers. More union than unionist perhaps.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now