Saturday, 18 January 2014
The Class Divide In Britain.
Last week a couple from Telford in Shropshire were fined over £1,000 for taking their children out of school for a one week holiday to Rhodes. The family had not had a holiday for five years. A spokesman for the Education Department told us; "Poor attendance at school can have a hugely damaging effect, and children who attend school regularly are nearly four times more likely to achieve five or more good GCSEs than those who are regularly absent. Parents should never simply discount a possible penalty notice from the cost of a cheaper holiday, because this is a criminal offence and when doing so they are always risking prosecution." Which is rather strange since the news today has been filled with the exploits of Lewis Clarke, at 16 the youngest person to walk to the South Pole. The trek took him fifty days and that after several months spent training in Greenland. Of course it was for charity but surely, at 16, his "poor attendance" at his school must have had "a hugely damaging effect."? Apparently not, even though this must be the year he will be taking his GCSE's. The difference seems to lie in the sort of school that Lewis attends, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital School in Bristol, that gave him permission to attempt his record-breaking trek. The Queen Elizabeth Hospital School is an £8,000 per year private school and, it must be assumed, Lewis comes from a somewhat more privileged background than the Sutherland family whose one week in Rhodes was considered to be completely unreasonable. As usual in Britain it's one rule for us and another for the wealthy and privileged.