Saturday, October 24, 2009

Where does Andrew Neather send his children to school?

" my children's south London primary school, the international influence is primarily the large numbers of (mostly middle-class) bilingual children, usually with one parent married to a Brit," says Andrew Neather in the article reproduced in the previous post. Yet in 2003 he was quoted as follows - so where exactly do his children go? Is it one of those specially nice "State" schools whose catchment area has been colonised by the middle class - or have his philosophical principles trumped his duty as a parent?

The myth of 'choice'

Journalist Andrew Neather says he could probably afford to send his two daughters to private schools.

But the former Number 10 speechwriter, who worked on Labour's 1997 general election campaign, said he wants them to be educated by the state.

The problem, Mr Neather says, is that the local state primary schools where he lives are suffering from underinvestment and their results are "dire". Either that or they are church schools.

The only option, he believes, will be to move house to an area with better schools.

"The way I feel now, I can not envisage a situation where I would send my children to a private school. "I would be willing to make huge sacrifices to send my kids to a good state school."

He says his desire to send his children to a state school is "not just a question of abstract political principles".

"I went to a very large comprehensive, then I went on to Cambridge. I think I had a more rounded experience of life than people who went to public schools.

"At the same time, I want my kids to do well and to get good results. You need that. You need both - and getting both is not easy."


dearieme said...

This is all very odd. The whole point of getting a State education is that it should innoculate you against talking sentimental tripe about The Workers. So why would he write speeches for Labour? It's baffling.

James Higham said...

And your take on this, Sackers?

AntiCitizenOne said...

My Take on this is that the state should leave education provision, and just lend parents the money to educate the children they produced.

Sackerson said...

I think I second ACO; though some parents are, sadly, just interested in how close the school is to where they live. Another angle is the enlightened self-interest one: if we let such types make choices that c*ck it up for their children, later on everyone else will pay.

I just got the feeling that Neather is another one who has lovely general principles on multiculturalism, education etc, with personal exemptions for himself and his family. Only connect, as Forster put it.

Old Holborn said...


How exactly does the State "lend" anyone money?

It has none of it's own.

Anonymous said...

"either that or they are church schools" -- as an outsider, I am puzzled; are "church schools" ouside consideration because they are too exclusive, because they are not good enough, or for religious reasons? Of what religion is Mr Neather?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

What a prat this man is.

He is basically saying that he could afford to buy something (education) but because he's a sanctimonious asshole, he insists that the taxpayer buys it for him instead.

Thanks a bunch, Mr. Neather. I can't afford private education for my kids, but if rich idiots like you didn't make themselves a charge on the state, maybe I could.


Sackerson said...

Hi, WY: I don't know that he's rich. I think he's middle-class and well-meaning, but is partly insulated from the consequences (for other people) of his principles, by dwelling among other middle class people. And if you can get a decent education from the State for your children by living in a nice catchment area (where your house price will also reflect these advantages), that's a bargain. If he sent his children to a private school, that wouldn't significantly increase the education budget per capita for others.

What he'll do when it comes to secondary school, that's another matter; but maybe it won't matter very much - there is a career escalator for those who can demonstrate their Left credentials, especially if it "runs in the family" - look at Polly Toynbee and Peter Mandelson. There is a rich research field to be explored on the the hereditary nature of the socialist elite.