Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nu Labour's Food for the soul?



The ever so cool education secretary, Alan Johnson, has just unveiled a £10m package to boost music and singing both in and out of the classroom. Intrepid blogger and Environment Secretary David Miliband for one is mighty impressed by this new initiative (I must say Miliband has never published a single one of my comments on his blog-is it coz I is a Tory?)

For his part, the culture minister David Lammy (Tottenham’s answer to Obama Barack) is full of praise for Johnson’s sterling efforts : "I grew up in a house full of music. All day festivals on Broadwater Farm blended with choral singing in my local church. As a child my head had room for both Bob Marley and John Wesley…”
All-day festivals on the Broadwater Farm estate?!? What is this guy on? Folks, help me out on this one. I am sure there will be much rejoicing throughout the land as a result of this proposal but there really are more pressing problems confronting the British education system in my humble opinion. Chris Woodhead, who was chief inspector of schools in England during Blair's first term, has said "What Blair wanted to do - ensure greater parental choice, diversity and to challenge the educational establishment - was absolutely right," says Woodhead. However, he adds, Blair "has not delivered on any of that". Schools have no discipline, educational standards are falling, university is open to anyone who can write their name. See here, here and here for evidence of how bad things are. I have no wish to rubbish this new initiative but after 10 years in office these NuLabour apparatchiks are still tinkering with education rather than doing what needs to be done...

10 comments:

Newmania said...

Sorry IT but you have a case of Toryettes. You can`t sneer at every minor little thing NewLab do as if it was evidence of being in league with the devil.
I was advocating ( ho ho) much the same myself recently when they were concerns about the demise of music in schools . Its a good idea and will help a lot.

I `m sort of quite musical by the way having played both in youth orchestras and bands and all sorts.
There is a certain sort of Tory comentator that will bemoan the fact that children are not being whipped through Fur Elise and the chamber of boyhood horrors I remember .
They themsleves have less than no interst in the supposed glorious tradition.

Same goes for defending the place of Shakespeare in the curriculum usually.

What is your suggestion for getting children to play music. Its something I`ve enjoyed a lot.My son already has a guitar.

Which he jumps on...

Tejus Ramakrishnan said...

Lol.. newmania.. agree with you..

ıstanbul Tory but can't be bothered to log on said...

Guilty as charged. I think I have been reading too much of that Justin Hinchcliffe’s blog. I have no quibble with this new initiative. But there is a substantive point in my rant- i.e., the governments concern for gimmickry and trivial tinkering at the expense of serious policy. Pupils in England will continue to be taught in rundown classrooms because the government is failing to meet targets in its schools rebuilding programme. The government expects to open just 14 of the 100 new schools it had planned by the end of this year, according to Department for Education and Skills (DfES) figures released to the Times.
Tejus, where the hell have you bee, dear boy?

Newmania said...

I noticed the school building fiasco but actually svhool buildings has nothing to do with it ....aniother time suffice to say the NUT figures large in my views.

Voyager said...

David Lammy is proof that if you take someone of average intelligence and give them an independent school education they can thrive and prosper.

Trouble is he also proves Michael's Young's criticism of the meritocracy because Lammy is very dim

Ellee said...

Actually, music budgets are being cut drastically in local schools, by 75% in Suffolk I believe, so this is like taking away with one hand and giving back with another. It doesn't make sense. I agree they should focus on the 3 Rs, isn't that why they are raising the school leaving age to 18 because they can't achieve this up to the age of 16?

I have successfully posted comments on the Miliband site, btw. Why not try it out with a different name and see if that makes any difference.

istanbultory said...

Ellee, my point exactly. As you say, they take with one hand (and hope nobody notices) and give with the other. Smoke and mirrors, gimmickry and marginalia in place of delivering sound policies.

Ellee said...

Glad you got your comment posted, I must check out Minister Miliband's site and read it.

Voyager said...

I must check out Minister Miliband's site and read it.

Perhaps if you call him Comrade and use the name Hobsbawm he might think you're one of his Dad's friends ?

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