School choice is a lie

THIS is the time of the year when children across the country start getting used to the idea that they're going to senior school in September.For some families it's a particularly anxious time as they wait to find out which one it will be.

THIS is the time of the year when children across the country start getting used to the idea that they're going to senior school in September.

For some families it's a particularly anxious time as they wait to find out which one it will be.

We are relatively lucky in Suffolk. While there are isolated problems in some schools, the vast majority are well run and offer youngsters a high standard of education.

Of course, whether they choose to take advantage of that opportunity is largely up to the students themselves.


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However, there are still families who, for one reason or another, want to chose a school for their children that is not the nearest to their home. They are perfectly justified in trying to do this. After all, the government tells us that parents can choose the best school for their youngsters.

Sadly, that is one of the biggest lies you will ever hear from politicians - and it is extremely cruel because it gives millions of people false hope when none reasonably exists.

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The only people with real choice in education are those who have enough money to be able to choose to send their children to independent schools.

Logic tells you that if a school has better exam results than others nearby, parents from a wide area will want to get their children in there and the popular school will have far more applications than it can handle.

You cannot apply the rules of supply and demand to education - or for that matter health care - unless you charge for it.

So rather than keep telling us that parents have the right to choose the best school for their youngsters, the government would do better to ensure that all schools were of a high standard.

That way there wouldn't be the false market that they try to pretend exists. And there wouldn't be thousands of disappointed families across the country at this time every year.

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