Labour’s assault on private schools

Or at least, that was the headline. At last, I thought. the Labour movement finally has the guts to take on the entrenchment of privilege and cash which forever divided this country and ensured that we’re peculiarly obsessed with social class, and the right to choose a school. Twenty years ago, when Labour seriously looked as though it might finally be forming a government, Blunkett wanted to tackle the massive tax concessions given to public schools, but Blair (the great prophet of parental choice) override him and kept things as they were.

But as it happens, this week’s revolution is far less radical than the headline makes it sound. Tristram Hunt is grovelling around the public schools, spellbound by their clear superiority, and wants to set up a few deals whereby public schools help out their less fortunate brethren by sharing a few resources. Back to square one, again. There was, briefly, a time when some of us thought that we might have a fair education system which gave every child a decent deal, but that was long ago.