Labour accused of ‘reverse snobbery’ in schools row

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Labour’s Kate Green was furious after reports show the rate of top marks being awarded at private schools was much higher than state schools, especially those in deprived areas. Ms Green said black students especially were underperforming and demanded something is done to level the playing field between the most and least affluent schools. But commentator Calvin Robinson hit out against the suggestion, stating Ms Green was “whistleblowing to identity politics”  and said she was guilty of “reverse snobbery” where she was attempting to attack more affluent families and students. 

Labour analysis suggests private schools have 50 percent higher marks than their state comprehensive counterparts which they say is widening the gap between the richest and poorest in society. 

They add many talented students are unable to reach their full potential because they are locked out of private schools which could nurture them. 

Ms Green says schools should be brought up to the same standards as private schools but faced criticisms over where she would get the money from. 

She told TalkRADIO: “Surely it is right as a matter of justice not a matter of politics, a matter of justice that we should level the playing field in the direction of those more disadvantaged children.

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“They’re wasting their talents, among those children might be the next person to identify the next vaccine for the next pandemic.

“We don’t want to waste the talents of any child we want to give every child the opportunity to make most of their potential.”

Mr Robinson was invited to share his thoughts and attacked Ms Green for downplaying private schools. 

He explained: “But schools are always going to be selective in one way, whether it’s a postcode lottery, whether it’s wealth, or whether it’s selected based on academic ability I would suggest academic ability is the best approach.

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“I get that you don’t agree with that, that’s fine, but what I’m seeing from this Ms Green is reverse snobbery from the Labour Party, it’s about.”

Ms Green interjected and said Mr Robinson was “sloganising” and that her beliefs were based on evidence and fact.

Mr Robinson continued: “Let me finish, what I’m seeing is reverse snobbery and whistleblowing to identity politics you mentioned black students in particular and I see what you’re doing with that you’re playing a very dangerous game.

“What I want to know is, really, truly, practically, what would Labour do to plug this, there is a social divide I’ll give you that and there is a very clear social divide that has widened by this pandemic in education.

“But what would Labour do going forward to fix that, I’m not interested in hindsight on how you would have done things differently, what would you do now to fix it?”

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Ms Green said Labour would look at pupil mental health which she says is important to learning and will also provide help to teachers with their mental health also. 

But host James Max noticed Ms Green did not mention anything about improving the actual teaching experience either through more resources or different examinations and demanded to know where Labour would get the money.

Ms Green brought up Tony Blair’s legacy of education and did not allude to where the £15billion required to fund Labour’s plans would come from. 

Mr Robinson quipped it was “£14billion yesterday” as Ms Green continued to get riled up. 

Overall, private schools have seen a 9.3 percent rise in A/A* grades compared to 6.2 percent in state schools. 

Many are concerned about grade inflation as many pupils have been awarded top marks with some questioning whether the examination or assessment of the pupils can be trustworthy.

Exams have been replaced by teacher assessments which are determined by mini-exams, coursework and other observations by the teacher.

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