Thursday, 20 September 2007

Good schools beat discrimination

Melanie McDonagh is spot on in her assessment of why discrimination against the Irish in Britain ended, not least in her observation that
Here in Britain, the Irish had access to Catholic schools, which were better than the state average. It meant that they were equipped to profit from the transition that Gordon Brown keeps talking about, from an economy requiring manual labour to one that places a premium on skills. The moral of all this is that it’s not positive discrimination and equality legislation that make ethnic prejudice redundant. It’s decent schools.

That is why the Government is right to respond to the aspirations of parents for more faith schools. They are probably the best available route for ethnic minority social mobility.


Anonymous said...

What parental demand? Isn't it true that whenever parents campaign for an additional school they never ask for that school to be a faith school? In fact, quite the opposite they are insistent that they want a non-religious community school.

Conor Ryan said...

No it isn't. It has been the case with some London parents' campaigns, but the biggest lobbies for new schools in recent years have been from parents seeking state funding for faith schools.

adrian said...

Actually, I think a lot of her argument is nonsense. Being Irish and having been educated at schools in Britain I was subject to racist abuse by too many second generation Irish catholics over here to buy into this.

Thanks for the tip though. I've written a letter to the Times, have to see if they publish.