Friday, 22 June 2012


I've noticed something rather delicious about the supposed split in opinion over O-levels. No proposals have yet been published so we have only leaks and soundbites to work on. But that is still interesting. The Lib Dems are very angry at Michel Gove for his proposals. This is, I'd like to suggest, amusing.

Consider the following system of education:

  1. There will be no national curriculum, instead the government will set tough exams on various subjects (called O-levels), and heads of schools will be totally free about what they should teach. 
  2. There will be no state run schools, instead (so called academy) schooling will be provided by the private sector and charitable organisations with the state paying the fees so poor kids can go to school. 

This is the most ardent Tory's wet dream surely? And something the Lib Dems would fight very hard in cabinet to oppose. Except that this is not Gove's leaked plan. This is the system of education set out in chapter 5 of On Liberty.

1 comment:

  1. The more delicious irony is that Hayek (of "This is what we believe" Thatcherite fame) was a massive fan of Mill and cites him at length in The Constitution of Liberty immediately before proposing the aforementioned "ardent Tory's wet dream". Indeed the only difference seems to be a willingness to fund research institutions for the positive externalities.


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