Wednesday 20 April 2016

The language of the powerful: 'low achievers', 'poor quality pupils'

Alan Duncan talks of people of 'low achievement' who might get into the House of Commons - or, heaven forfend - are already there. (He means people who are not millionaires.)
The 'Centre for High Performance' talks of 'poor quality' pupils.

We are in the era in which the people who run the show are becoming more and more confident about using their private language in public. The way they insult and sneer at the poor, the disabled or indeed anyone they think of as 'less' than them, is supposed to be kept being closed doors, but every now and then we catch sight of it.

Of course, if it really was just a matter of words, we could say, 'Sticks and stones will break my bones but words can never harm me.' But this is policy. These words are the literal and actual representations of what is being enacted. The people in power and control think that some human beings are 'poor quality' and because they have been so designated, they 'deserve' less state provision, or no state provision.

Remember, we are talking about children here. An academy could decide that a 4 year old is 'poor quality'. Four years on earth and he or she is already 'poor quality'. Then what?

As I've said, the next stop is the local authority. Local authorities of the future are going to have tiny amounts of cash, and skeleton staff. People who run 'education' from local authorities in the future are going to be administrators not educationists. Their job will be to 'transit' 'poor quality' children into 'units' where the lowest 'cost' teachers will be hired to do what they can. If not, they go to a new kind of charity 'unit' run by people like the Princes' Trust. And we can be sure that on 'Children in Need' we will be warmed and delighted with images of kids being taken on a trip to London Zoo as if that's the best that a society that allows the superrich to stow trillions in tax havens can do.