Today's the day when kids all over the country find out which school they've gotten in to. My co-presenter Steve's daughter has gotten in to the school she wanted so he's over the moon. There's an article on the BBC about various parents and their experiences.
Thing is though, I thought the whole point of a nationalised education system was to make sure that all kids got a decent education, not just the ones whose parents were smart, well-connected and ambitious for their kids. What about the children in families who don't care for them or don't value education? Well of course they have the double curse of little or no home education and going to the worst possible school - since that's the one which will have places.
Strange that there is a huge fuss made about selection being on the basis of ability, despite the obvious advantages of streamed education*. Meanwhile selection based on parental interest is the norm.
*I was a bit horrified by the recent proposals to put kids younger and younger kids through academic tests. On the other hand I did spend at least 95% of my time at school either being taught stuff I already knew or being bullied for being a swot... I think you have to start streaming quite early based on small tests and tasks, but leave lots of space for kids to move up and down through streams as they get older.