Policy Tourism – a crass mistake?

Well, I suppose it had to come to pass., that is the separation of the United Kingdom into its 4 component parts. I was born in London, have a grandmother born in Scotland, an Uncle who played for London Irish and all sorts of Welsh brethren I genuinely call my friends. I’ll mourn the day.

“The dissolution of the 4 nations into the constituent parts has been a long time…. “

Not so fast sonny. About what are you speaking, precisely?

OK, it is well known for now that Scotland is separated from England by both  Hadrian’s Wall and its ‘Highers’ , which in fact are ‘Lowers’ when it comes to comparison with England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Yep that’s right, when you leave school wearing tartan, you do so with more, but meaning less.  Read more about that here – http://goo.gl/6bqTL

Actually don’t bother – here’s an example where knowledge is worse than instinct.  Over many years as adults, we learn that you are only as good as your peer group, and in terms of leaders and followers from the current news stories, what can we learn? Take a snap shot now – is the Scottish Premier League better than the English Football Equivalent? If Scotland floated out of Sterling would the currency survive? Will UK Oil last for ever? Was it ours to start with?

So what we know is: the bigger the natural peer group you can place your community in (but don’t imagine that’s the individual), the more your community will thrive in that space. Don’t cross big boundaries. You can think that the stay-at-home works with the itinerant traveler, but don’t mix and match the Fish with the Fowl – or Foul for that matter.

As the Welsh Press were quick to point out, our own government seems hell bent on separation. http://goo.gl/Der1n takes you to the story.  Should we split? This is a rhetorical question of course, because there are no interests in any of the three countries that make them better served than they are by remaining together. It’s about the dynamic mass of a nation united by its education system, which in turn feeds into its economy, its psyche and its feelings of self-worth.

At my age, I know lots of people who are retired, and to be fair to me, many of those before they should have, though that’s about the pension plan rather than their economic usefulness, which would still be of value. (Get to the point, James). Some of them are genuinely using the financial markets to improve the value of their savings. By placing their ‘pound’ in ‘Euro’, ‘Dollar’, ‘Yen’ or whatever, they are able to play the system and enhance their dosh. In a small way.

In reality, though it’s true we are going through a Euro crisis at present, let’s not allow the Fathers to visit on their Sons a mistake of gargantuan proportions. As and when Mr Gove and his contemporaries in Wales and Northern Island decide to go their separate ways, we in education need to be the anchors the hold the ships together, for make no bones about it, the smaller we grind the problem, the less we’ll find to inform us.

OK, OK, lots of metaphors, not enough fact and evidence.  So watch this Educator in the States place this in real perspective (David McCullough of Wellesley High) – because neither England, or Wales or Ireland (N) are special; we are all part of the world one nation, trying to make a living in hard times.

What drives me to write this?  If only one of the politicians was right, then we’d know who to follow. The adult forcing the change is…MG of course, (Mr Gove).  He really knows absolutely nothing about anything evidence based, and the Establishment he finds himself up against isn’t me and mine.  I admire his singular approach. I admire his party’s other ideals too. However, none of them stack up.  How can you be wanting to unite the UK under one civil partnership/marriage social convention whilst at the same time forcing divorce  in the other happy coalition in Education partnership, whilst causing a vote in due course on membership of Europe, and as a leading partner in World peace forcing the issue on Iraq?  Michael’s party is as divided on this as they are the economy, the wider society at large,  Europe more generally and  peace globally. Put simply, they’d rather divorce than live together, perhaps.

We do not need as an English speaking Island to start searching anew for the qualifications that lead to success. As the UK Independent  Education sector espouses quite clearly, it’s all about the whole person, academics and co-curricular, Arts and Sports, Rough with the Smooth. If only we had a political voice that enounced this! Sadly we have none. because the vast majority of our sector have been reduced by the evident truth that they are charities, and as such cannot place stakes in the political high ground. Look at the fuss we currently see about Apple and Google not paying taxes. Our Nation is appalled.  No wonder the Alma Maters of Gove and Cameron, Clegg and Osborne stay ‘schtum’.  What price those leading Educational punters having influence  in the future, who can tour the UK for the qualification that fits the Goldilocks’ principle – just right for now – if by opening their mouths they announced they were not paying  for their ticket? Those independent thinkers, such as yours truly, have chosen to pay the Queen’s shilling as well as take it for education services rendered actually have had no voice – until WordPress made it public!

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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