Margaret Thatcher's greatest failure was in education policy. As it turned out, breaking the coercive power of trade unions and setting the economy free was a waste of time, if not accompanied by a corresponding purge of educationalists. Every student since her time has been taught that she was wrong. The British educational establishment lives in a Marxist time bubble, all unaware that Charlie-boy's ideas were tried and failed across the globe.In consequence, British education is a machine for destroying human potential and the people who suffer most are the bright children of ordinary families. Labour consistently claims educational progress, but its data are as reliable as Soviet tractor production statistics. The five year plan is always filled and any perceptions that quality is declining are "sabotage by hostile elements." Yet, as the linked story shows, the truth is out there.
The analysis of final year work produced at Imperial College London found that UK students made almost three times as many errors in English compared to their foreign counterparts from China, Singapore and Indonesia. Bernard Lamb, Emeritus reader in genetics at Imperial and president of the Queen's English Society, found that his 18 home grown students had an average of 52.2 errors in two pieces of assessed course work and the final degree exam, while the 10 overseas students averaged only 18.8 errors. The UK students, attending one of the best universities in the world, all had excellent A-level results, or equivalents, yet all their written work had to be corrected for English.As someone trying to learn Chinese, I know the height of the language barrier those Chinese students have crossed. If they can write better English than a native speaker with "good" A levels then, trust me, something is rotten in the state of British education. I do not hesitate to name that rottenness for you. British educationalists are more concerned about agitprop than truth. They are interested, not in opening minds, but in closing them. One of my personal tests of a new Conservative government will be this; if they start with the "tractor stats", I will know they are frauds.