The BBC on Education: Ignore the Evidence, Believe Ofsted..

Biased BBC contributor Daniel Pycock writes…

“The BBC were only too delighted to report the comments of Sir Michael Wilshaw (Head of Ofsted), who told The Observer: “Grammar schools are stuffed full of middle class kids. A tiny percentage of pupils are on Free School Meals (3%). That is a nonsense … Anyone who thinks Grammar Schools are going to increase social mobility needs to look at those figures. I don’t think they work”.

Firstly, where else but the Guardian Media Group would the BBC take its line from on education? – and Secondly, why is this opinion being reported without reply? The BBC allows an assumption that Free School Meals are an appropriate measurement of working class pupils, whilst then concluding (based on said assumption) that Grammar Schools would not increase social mobility (they evidently did, and still do where they are readily available)*

To my knowledge, grammar schools have not been proposed by the Conservatives or Labour (indeed only UKIP promise them), and they have, at best, been the subject of a columnist bitch-fight between Peter Hitchens (Mail on Sunday) and Owen Jones (The Independent). I am thus intrigued as to why this unprovoked attack on schools – that will neither be built nor supported by a prominent political party – should merit a prominent position in the headline reviews – and top-10 headline positions on the BBC News ‘England’ and ‘Politics’ pages.

*BBC Headlines:

The BBC’s anti-grammar bias, combined with its anti-free schools bias (as exposed by Toby Young at The Telegraph), means that its editorial position resembles the Churchillian quip about democracy: that “comprehensive schooling is the worst form of education except for all the others that have been tried”. The problem with this argument, however, is that it is not true – and it certainly is not close to being “balanced” or “impartial”

*You are, for instance, 33% more likely to attend a university from a working class background in selective Northern Ireland (39.1%) than in Comprehensive Scotland or Wales (26.6% and 29.1%).

Things you may want to reference, in order:

BBC Article:

Observer Article:

Peter Hitchens’ Blog:

Owen Jones’ Blog:


Toby Young’s Exposés: and

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24 Responses to The BBC on Education: Ignore the Evidence, Believe Ofsted..

  1. Dave s says:

    Wilshaw’s arrogant assumption that having free school meals is an indication of not being middle class is typical of his type. That statement alone is enough to disqualify him as a serious commentator.
    The argument over grammar schools is always couched in these absurd terms. The liberal idiots know that they provide a better education for the brighter children. To argue against this is sheer stupidity. Hence the strident wailing from the liberal left. They have lost the argument and they know it.
    What they really want is equality of outcome- except for themselves and their children of course. Hang the real interests of the nation in finding the best and giving them the best possible education. The public school elite- in many cases the same blinkered idiots- just keep quiet . Their children will face less opposition if we can keep our broken comprehensive system, in being.


    • Fred Bloggs says:

      The Parliamentary committee on white children in school had a professor on the panel. He said that 50% of the factors that affected school outcome was genetics. This clearly did not sit well with the Labour members who sat silently ‘squirming in their seats like a whore at a christening’. The factors for them had to be all their prejudices, quality of teachers, parents environment money etc. They did not want to hear the truth that genetics had such a huge influence. So two able people could produce children who just might climb the social ladder mainly because their parents endowed them with good genes.


    • DICK R says:

      The same propaganda that deliberately confuses the working class with the scrounging feckless chav benefit class ,waddling about in their track suits drinking cheap cider from plastic bottles, and living on McCanes oven chips. We all know the benefit class can never have any intelligence, because they selectively breed that way by default , they would quickly die out with a few simple changes to the benefit system.
      The real losers are children from good homes, who’s parents work hard on modest incomes, but cannot quite afford to pay for extra tuition, who’s education is being destroyed by classes full of foul mouthed, sub human ,loutish, benefit brats bred only to keep their disgustingly fat ugly mothers in enough money to pay for Bacardi breezers in between boyfriends.
      Until proper selective education is re introduced we will fall further behind the rest of the world , who will be laughing at the state of our education system which until a few generations ago was arguably the worlds best.


      • Chris says:

        Not true.
        I grew up in a family on benefits and went to a top ten uni. It’s an attitude thing. As soon as I could I refused to follow that path and refused to bow before any mans assertion of victimhood.
        I met many from that background who possessed real intelligence and decency, and I met many from my time at university who possessed no intelligence and were vile people.
        The difference is really expectation and pressure.
        If all around you are of the same culture and you cannot see beyond this, then what will you become? very few people are sufficiently tenacious and inquisitive to seek further afield of their own accord, this is where grammar schools help. They place people in a different culture.
        I suspect many who frequent this blog will be of the tenacious and inquisitive type as they see the BBC and call bullsh*t.


  2. Simon says:

    says someone who is upper middle class himself….


  3. GCooper says:

    The Left’s position on education is the same as it is stance on other cherished notions, like early sex education and communism: they haven’t worked, but that’s because we haven’t done them thoroughly enough.

    It’s nonsense, of course, but it”s a view you will hear time and again from BBC twerps.


    • Span Ows says:

      You’re right:

      …and the EU. the only answer is deeper integration.

      …and AGW: the science is settled so we must press on.


      • Richard Pinder says:

        If the beliefs, speculations, assumptions and consensus of the Socialists and Warmists are proved wrong by evidence, facts, correlation’s and observations.

        Then the Socialist/Warmists morons believe that the evidence, facts, correlation’s and observations must be in error.

        Proof that Climate science has been perverted by the inferior mindset of the lefty.

        The morons confuse assumptions with facts, especially when an assumption is enhanced by a computer model.


  4. chrisH says:

    Need we ask what kind of school Wilshaw went to ?
    Have a guess!
    Little wonder then that this self-loathing hypocrite wants the drawbridge lifted and the helicopter to fly off with nobody on it but himself…indeed, as a New Labour trusty toady it would be career suicide for him to practice what he preaches…file under Harman, Abbott, Falconer, Blair, Kelly yada yada.
    Only Labour have been this evil-tuition fees was similar plan to keep the oiks in condoms and 24/7 duty solicitors and social workers.
    Labour need wiping from historys chalkboard…and fast!


  5. Tony E says:

    The simple truth about Grammar schools is that they are stuffed with middle class kids with good parents.

    The reason for this is also simple- there are not enough grammar school places so the parents with the most experience and education prepare their children for them.

    Another self evident truth is that the majority of state school primary teachers agree with Wilshaw, so rather than encouraging the clever children of poor parents to attend such schools, they do the opposite and never advertise their availability to the children who would be best served by them.


    • DICK R says:



    • Richard Pinder says:

      I would imagine that Grammar Schools have been less likely to have survived in Labour areas such as Liverpool which seems to have produced a lot of those working class genius’s of the 60,s, but not since then.

      I have just found out that another famous face who has died, went to the same Liverpool Grammar School with all the other 60’s working class Liverpudians.

      I think the more pure a meritocracy becomes, the less likely working class people would be able to send their children to Grammar Schools, due to genetics.

      But I think destroying Socialism would help more than destroying the best Schools.

      The Labour PM, Clement Atlee was in favour of Grammar Schools as a way of destroying Private Schools, but then Labour turned against Grammar Schools in the 50’s just as the Private Schools where suffering, all because of two issues. (1) Posh Parents with bright kids sending there kids to Grammar School to save on costs (2) Working class kids being turned into middle class Tories.

      Labour needs poverty to survive in a democracy, therefore Labour needs mass immigration and poor schools to provide the moronic masses that Labour needs to survive.


      • DICK R says:

        Would you prefer working class kids be turned into mindles oiks


        • Amounderness Lad says:

          No, but Labour do. It’s no use being a Class War Warrior if there’s no class war to fight.


        • Richard Pinder says:

          “Working class kids turned into mindles oiks” is called progressive education.

          The left-wing teaching profession then put the blame on the kids, by labelling them Dyslexic.

          And then they go through an Orwellian process of giving the Dyslexic kids damaged by progressive education, extra points in exams.

          Which shows you how nice left-wing teachers are?

          Its called Liberal Fascism with a smiley face.


      • Dave s says:

        I agree. If grammar schools had continued I doubt if many public schools could have survived. Eton and such like probably but the rest would have just gone out of business.
        i always susupected this was one of the main reasons for their abolition.
        The English elite has always been vicious, vindictive and greedy.


        • Richard Pinder says:

          That is why all the middle class “Leaflet posting plebs” remaining in the Tory party, should follow the rest, and support UKIP, now that the Tories have returned to the elitism of upper class “A list” twits like Cameron.


    • Philip says:

      That is correct. Not enough Grammer Schools means that those that are left are those with the parents with the sharpest elbows. In defence good Technical Schools were supposed to replace Grammers but it never happened and still won’t. Those boroughs strong enough to fight governement all ‘comprehensive’ school plans (like Kent) are the real heroes here. The problems of an English Education is the failure of the comprehensive system. We need technical schools for bright children and that means that we have to accept that some kids are brighter than others and that (to Labour) is ability discrimination, so they oppose all ability tests at age 11. And then send their own kids to private schools to prove their own superior education. Except that does not work either.


  6. stuart says:

    owen jones makes me sick with his hypocrisy,fine for a nice socalist /marxist middle class boy like him to get educated at a grammar school then move on to the exclusive toffs university oxbridge to finish off his education then he joins the so called independant newspaper which he nicely gets paid more than the prime minister at £150,000 a year to fill up his nice socalist bank account and now all he does is bitches on about how he hates the grammar school system which working class familys would love there children to be educated in but owen want to deny them that with class hatred of peoples backgrounds which he himself comes from.the guy is a grade 1 hypocrite who gets to much airtime on the bbc and radio 5 live to spew out his socalist nonsence,baa humbug to you owen jones.


  7. Thoughtful says:

    Although this undoubtedly is an example of the bias of the BBC I have to say that I am opposed to Grammar schools but for very different reasons.

    Employers in the UK have never wanted ‘talent’, and today they still don’t. Back in the day they would advertise for a ‘Grammar School boy’. It didn’t matter about the results it mattered that they went to the Grammar School and they would be given a job ahead of a secondary school candidate with far better qualifications.

    The first time in my life I saw corruption was in primary school when one of the teachers made sure her not so bright son was an ‘automatic pass’ for the Grammar. Other influential parents were also able to make sure their kids were first in the queue. As someone who was educated outside of the state sector it’s interesting to look at what went on from the outside, and it isn’t pretty !

    One of the passes from a certain pushy parent had a local ‘joke’ about his answer to one eleven plus question ‘What kind of horse is that’? asked the examiner pointing out of the window at an animal in a field – ‘ It’s a Geegee’ ! came the response. Needless to say because his parents had both attended the Grammar, and were local notables, he passed the eleven plus.

    There are of course bright kids selected for the Grammar, the pushy parents need them for their brightness to maintain standards and the ‘halo effect’.

    Can anyone imagine what it would be like if the fascists were allowed to influence the Grammar school intake? They would be filled with every ethnic imaginable with whites excluded in the madness of their fascist beliefs.

    For these reasons I am opposed to Grammar Schools, very different reasons to the fascists opposition on ideological grounds.


    • Joshaw says:

      But surely grammar schools could be reintroduced with a different selection system; they don’t have to be tied irreversibly to an 11-plus style exam. Furthermore, I see no reason why kids (I refuse to call them students) who pass but don’t measure up shouldn’t be sent down, and kids who fail initial selection shouldn’t get a second chance if they shine.

      The form of the 11 plus exam wasn’t fixed anyway. The one I took in 1962 consisted of a series of IQ tests.