Biased BBC contributor Daniel Pycock writes……
“The BBC were only too delighted to report the comments of Sir Michael Wilshaw (Head of Ofsted), who told The Observer: “Grammar schools are stuffed full of middle class kids. A tiny percentage of pupils are on Free School Meals (3%). That is a nonsense … Anyone who thinks Grammar Schools are going to increase social mobility needs to look at those figures. I don’t think they work”.
Firstly, where else but the Guardian Media Group would the BBC take its line from on education? – and Secondly, why is this opinion being reported without reply? The BBC allows an assumption that Free School Meals are an appropriate measurement of working class pupils, whilst then concluding (based on said assumption) that Grammar Schools would not increase social mobility (they evidently did, and still do where they are readily available)*
To my knowledge, grammar schools have not been proposed by the Conservatives or Labour (indeed only UKIP promise them), and they have, at best, been the subject of a columnist bitch-fight between Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday) and Owen Jones (The Independent). I am thus intrigued as to why this unprovoked attack on schools – that will neither be built nor supported by a prominent political party – should merit a prominent position in the headline reviews – and top-10 headline positions on the BBC News ‘England’ and ‘Politics’ pages.
*BBC Headlines: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-the-papers-25386217
The BBC’s anti-grammar bias, combined with its anti-free schools bias (as exposed by Toby Young at The Telegraph), means that its editorial position resembles the Churchillian quip about democracy: that “comprehensive schooling is the worst form of education except for all the others that have been tried”. The problem with this argument, however, is that it is not true – and it certainly is not close to being “balanced” or “impartial”
*You are, for instance, 33% more likely to attend a university from a working class background in selective Northern Ireland (39.1%) than in Comprehensive Scotland or Wales (26.6% and 29.1%).
Things you may want to reference, in order:
BBC Article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-25386784
Toby Young’s Exposés: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyyoung/100250088/the-bbcs-anti-free-schools-bias-is-becoming-laughable/ and http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/tobyyoung/100128060/bbc-news-online-publishes-grossly-misleading-anti-free-schools-article/