Skip to main content

The week in quotes

"In the spoof rock documentary This is Spinal Tap, the guitarist boasts that his sound system is special, because whereas the volume on others can only be turned up to 10, his goes up to 11. 'Why don't you just make 10 louder?' asks the interviewer. The same sort of question might be asked about the Government's elongations of the school exam system."

The Economist

"There were plenty of well-known faces as Estelle Morris celebrated her 50th birthday ... but it was the presence of a mystery man described by aides as an 'old mate' of the Education Secretary that provoked most comment. Miss Morris's partner for the evening seemed to be acting as party host, carrying flowers and gifts, and later left with her in a taxi."

Mail on Sunday

"We know what specialists these schools will turn out. Illiterate midfield losers who'll never get a job except to teach other illiterate midfield losers. Ditto innumerate paint-hurling artists; idiotic pain-feeling thespians; creationists; fundamentalists of other sorts. It's the single most efficient way to make ghettoes in our society.

"What public schools used to do, and what private schools still do, I believe, is find out what children were good at and then make them do it. Tony Blair should do something bold and brave. He should model the state education system on Fettes, his old public school."

Simon Carr, The Independent, June 24

"Here is the most shocking question among the New York state (education department) guidelines (on exams): 'Does the material assume values not shared by all the test takers?' There is no book worth reading, no poem worth writing, no essay worth analysing, that assumes the same values for all. That sentence is the death of intellectual engagement."

Anna Quindlen, Newsweek

"I'm not Islington any more. I'm Barking."

Margaret Hodge, higher education minister, talking about her constituency, Daily Express, June 22 "New Labour came into power promising a Third Way between socialism and capitalism. All it has done is bandage Old Labour in a new wrapper, with high taxes still funding inefficient public services. It may keep saying sorry, but it cannot bring itself to look the truth in the face and admit the consumer MUST be king."

Trevor Kavanagh, The Sun, June 25

Log in or register for FREE to continue reading.

It only takes a moment and you'll get access to more news, plus courses, jobs and teaching resources tailored to you