Thursday 10 July 2014

Low-pay, education and the exam-crazy system

One offshoot of this morning's news on the Today Programme came in what turned out to be yet another reflection on 'what will save British capitalism'. Francis Maude made it clear that the Coalition 'strategy' for saving British capitalism is low pay. 

We need low pay, he said, to make (or keep) Britain 'competitive'. Meanwhile another part of the Coalition 'strategy' is to berate teachers for not educating children enough. To make British capitalism successful, Gove and others say, we need to be higher up the international education league tables. 

Contradiction here? I think so. If they want more workers to be happy with low pay, they need people who are less educated, less likely to be disgruntled, more likely to accept zero hours and below living wage. That's what their test-crazy, exam-addicted education system delivers for them: hundreds of thousands of people who were told 'anyone can succeed' but come out of the system labelled as 'failures'.   

People like Francis Maude and Michael Gove are either fools or liars or both. Take your pick.