Guernsey Press

Educational policies of Harold Wilson’s government imitated

HAS anyone else noticed that our left-leaning States acting through the Education committee is emulating the educational policies of Harold Wilson’s UK Labour Government in the 1960s and 1970s?


Under Wilson the selective principle underlying the 11-plus was abolished in favour of large comprehensive schools and comprehensive education became Labour Party policy together with pressing local authorities to convert grammar schools to comprehensives. This latter policy became under Shirley Williams (between 1976 and 1979) the abolition of virtually all of the grammar schools.

In the UK it is by no means clear that comprehensive education has been the success claimed for it; after all, statistics can always be manipulated to get the answer one wants. In fact, there has, over the past few years, been tremendous growth in new smaller schools, be they state-funded academies or grammar schools or independent schools.

Tellingly, when Williams’ daughter approached secondary school age, Williams moved into the catchment area of a voluntary aided school, Godolphin and Latymer, which in 1977 turned fully into an independent and private school rather than being turned into a comprehensive. I wonder how many deputies will now send or are currently sending their children to our private schools? But who can blame them with the impending disaster in our island’s education?