The government’s social mobility report on wealth discrimination in schools is doomed to fail, said local MEP Paul Nuttall today.
The idea being promoted in the report, drawn up by the government’s Social Mobility Commissioner, Alan Milburn, argues that good schools should discriminate in favour of lower income children, or the “disadvantaged” as he describes them.
But Mr Nuttall, UKIP Deputy Leader, and Education spokesman, who is from a low income background and worked as a University lecturer, calls the proposal an example of the worst kind of social engineering that will act as a great disincentive to success.
“The prescription being offered is certainly no panacea. The five key findings of the report show how far we have moved from proper inclusion. We need to move toward a system that focuses upon each child’s ability and fosters those abilities in the most effective way possible.
“Social mobility has been on the slide for decades, ever since the wrong- headed introduction of the comprehensive system. It is time to look at what works in the whole. UKIP proposes that we should be committed to the re-introduction of selection, setting, streaming and the whole panoply of treating all children from whichever background as unique.
“In that way the hopes of the report, that the system does not in some way regard any one sector as society as “better or worse”, would be achieved by ensuring that talent is recognised from any and all backgrounds.
“It is wrong and divisive to believe, as this report does, that social mobility is the key aim of schools. It isn’t, excellence in education must always be the key aim. But with that we will return to greater social mobility, but not as the aim, but as a consequence”.