A Birmingham teacher writes: mainstream parties will not take the one single action most needed to improve educational outcomes.

tristram hunt mpTristram Hunt, Labour’s shadow education secretary, records in a recent Guardian article:

“Analysis by the Sutton Trust reveals an interesting spectrum: an independent day school student is 22 times more likely to attend a Russell Group university than a state school student from a disadvantaged background”.

Labour’s prescription

Hunt continues: “Labour’s plan is this: we will introduce a School Partnership Standard requiring all private schools to form genuine and accountable partnerships with state schools if they want to keep their business rates relief”.

Fee-paying schools’ advantage

Above all others, as the writer has long pointed out, the generally recognised reason for good performance is very low class sizes in fee-paying schools – in some, eight children to one teacher:

“Low pupil-to-teacher ratios are one of the principal reasons many parents opt for independent schools rather than local state alternatives. Smaller class sizes allow greater one-to-one attention and make for better public examination results”.

Tristram Hunt says that he believes ‘we’ deserve an education system where the majority of young people enjoy the same access to excellence as the privileged 7%:

But will either of the mainstream parties promote this by funding state schools to offer children the same access to a teacher’s attention?