By Calum Benson
Education policies of recent decades came under sustained fire last night as Andrew Neil lamented the demise of grammar schools, something he linked to the increasing domination of politics by ‘old boys’ from the country’s most élite public schools.
Whatever your politics, it was hard not to feel slightly disheartened hearing Jacob Rees-Mogg, old Etonian and Tory MP for North-East Somerset, say in all sincerity: ‘I am a man of the people. Vox populi, vox dei.’ (That’s ‘the voice of the people is the voice of God’, to the rest of us).
Neil is not alone in worrying. James Groves, head of the education unit at the Policy Exchange think tank, thinks that Neil does have ‘a very fair point’.
Others remain unconvinced. A spokesperson for the ATL teaching union said that social mobility was the wrong priority, commenting that it infers ‘some people going up the ladder, and some people