Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Slaughter reminded of private school past

Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Education, reminded our MP of his private school education this week in a parliamentary exchange about Toby Young's controversial West London Free School that could be charecterised as a catty verbal fencing game. Read for yourself:

Mr Andy Slaughter (Hammersmith) (Lab): The Secretary of State will know that schools in Hammersmith and Fulham lost £200 million in well worked-up, mature BSF proposals. Instead, we have free schools enrolling pupils, despite the fact that they have no approved business case, their consultation is not complete and they have no secured site. Will he reconsider decision making in Hammersmith and Fulham before he is back in the High Court?

Michael Gove : I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for his point. I have had the opportunity to visit with him many of the outstanding schools in Hammersmith and Fulham, including Phoenix high school, which we both hold in high regard. The new free school that is likely to be opened, the West London free school, is being opened at a significantly lower cost than that for which schools were built under BSF. It will be in a handsome building adjacent, I believe, to the fee-paying independent school Latymer upper, where he enjoyed such a great education.


  1. And your point is? Did you choose where you went to school? Or did your parents?
    I certainly didn't have a choice in where I went and I haven't given a choice to my children either.
    It's called parenting. Geddit?

  2. Did I say I had a point?

    I love it how every time I criticise Tories I get abuse from their supporters and for Labour ditto.

    The rest of us look cynically on...

  3. Come off it, Anonymous. Slaughter's whole tone and manner is virtually a caricature of an antiquated, supercilious, public school bred, toff barrister; while simultaneously attempting to portray himself as some kind of socialist revolutionary for the common man - when in reality he is basically a pompous phoney in many respects.

  4. Not sure that Latymer Upper School was an independent school when he was there.

  5. I believe that when M. Slaughter attended, it was a direct grant school, i.e. independent but with all fees paid by the state (as was Godolphin and Latymer). Many of these schools opted for full independence when the status was abolished in the 70s. Funnily enough, the 'Free Schools' sound a lot like the direct grant schools, albeit without the freedom to select. So there's a certain irony there.