Letter: Educational 'Reform' Is Mere Chimera

Article excerpt

Sir: John Prescott's objections to the proposed 'liberalisation' of secondary schools may or may not be valid (Editorial, 24 October), but the objections of those who have, for many years, urged fundamental curricular reform most certainly are " and those concerns are principled and multiple.

A central danger of this latest avalanche of educational change is that it will be little more than a 'smoke and mirrors' exercise, not least with the claim to have set schools free by tilting at the straw man of Local Educational Authority power. The reality, of course, is that LEAs have had little effective power for many years, as it has been systematically annexed by a central government determined to micro-manage every dot and comma of educational practice.

We should also beware of the fashion for championing 'parent power' (who could argue with such an apparently noble sentiment?). To give parents a major say in the detail of their children's schooling not only threatens further to deprofessionalise and undermine the crucial professional autonomy of our beleaguered teachers, but there is simply no evidence that parents want such overweening influence anyway. …