Last week, the Telegraph published an article listing the ‘eight best places to live near ‘outstanding’ secondary schools’ (read here). I read through this list and found that most the schools were located in areas where the average house cost was higher (in some areas, substantially higher) than the national average (read here).
This trend is not limited to the eight best schools, but applies for almost all the better achieving schools in the country. A Sutton Trust report from 2017 (read here) highlights that a house in the catchment area of a top 500 comprehensive school costs over £45,000 more than the national average.
‘Supporters of comprehensive schooling claim the system offers equal educational opportunity to all. This is far from the case.’@MWCurzon discusses selection by wealth in the comprehensive education system.https://t.co/sSAq6Sv1Oq
— Bournbrook Magazine (@bournbrookmag) September 11, 2019
Today, the Telegraph have released another article along this basis, listing instead the ‘eight best places to live near ‘outstanding’ nursery schools’ (read here). This article highlights that the problem of wealth selection (that which has replaced selection by ability) begins much earlier than secondary schooling.
The UK average house price is just under £230,000. Not a single school on the list is located in an area where the average house price is equal to (never mind less than) the national average. Remember, as I pointed out in my last article, that ‘average’ does not mean ‘affordable for all’; many would struggle also to muster up £230,000. These people have no chance of affording their children a better-than-average education. They, because of their financial situation, are condemned (by the government) to ignorance. I say ‘by the government’ as the house can, of course, have a very positive impact on a child’s learning. Where this takes place, however, it is in spite of the education system, not because of it.
Even if you take England’s slightly higher national average house price (£243,000), as opposed to that of the UK, only a single area is listed both as outstanding for schooling and within the national average for house costs. Some areas are substantially higher than this average; £370,000, £415,000, even £605,000.
This situation is creating an awful split in Britain, between those who can afford for their children to be well education, and those who can not.