Ruth Kelly and "Choice"

My problem, such as it is, with Ruth Kelly’s decision to send her dyslexic child (as an aside, notice how everyone has a “dyslexic” child now, never just one who’s a bit thick? Kind of annoying for the kids who actually do have it, isn’t it?) to a private school is not the obvious “hypocrisy” one. I wouldn’t wish deny her the right to choose what is best for her child, and in the circumstances I might even do the same, assuming of course I could afford the fees.

However, let’s not kid ourselves; the illusion of choice is shown to be just that: an illusion.

If you have a child with Special Educational Needs and you don’t have £15000 a year floating around to pay for those school fees, your “choices” seem to to be very much more limited, don’t they? Part of the problem with the so-called choice agenda is that it always opens up those choices to those who can afford to have them anyway, making them utterly redundant. What do you do if your child is just like Ruth Kelly’s but you earn only £20k a year? You have to rely on the local authority provision that Ruth didn’t think was good enough for her child. If it’s not good enough for her son, why is (and was) it good enough for anyone else when she was Secretary of State for Education, then? That is the problem.

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