Anthony Seldon’s Real Agenda

Today’s Observer includes an article attacking the state of the UK education system.

Victorian Education

It is written by Anthony Seldon, master of Wellington College. Typically, the current system is said to be ‘in crisis’ and urgent reform is required for the apocalypse to be avoided. It is an indication of how powerful such Establishment figures remain in the UK today that they still monopolise debate – we can not imagine a state school principal with the ability to occupy newspaper space in the same way. It is also sickening that a newspaper that is said to represent the views of NuLab gives space to this man.

Seldon has no right to pass comment on the state education system in the UK. His school is a private one. It is not subject to the same rules and demands of a local public school. He can comment as an ordinary member of Joe Public. So can we. But he is speaking as a businessman not as an educationalist with expertise in state school education.

In fact, with the number of pupils in the private sector plummeting in the UK it is likely that Seldon is fearful for the future of his brand of elitist schooling and is engaged in a rather predictable and somewhat sinister form of self-promotion i.e. create a crisis when there isn’t one and promote yourself as the saviour and maintain your USP.

Debate is welcome on education and nothing’s perfect. However, the current debate is still monopolised by those exploiting it for their ends – political and/or financial – who have no interest in this but their own. So it is true we need a new education debate, but we need another education debate that is genuine and open to all.


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