If you want an idea of where your tax is really going (beyond the firemen, schools’n’hospitals, etc. which the unions would have us believe make up the entire public sector) have a peek at the public appointments adverts. If you can’t face handling (or contaminating your browser cache with) the Grauniad, then go to the Cabinet Office website.
There you will find such gems as this:
Director of Fair Access to Higher Education
Remuneration Circa £130,000 pro rata for 3 days a week
The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills and Universities Minister are seeking an outstanding individual to succeed Sir Martin Harris as Director of Fair Access to Higher Education.
The Government’s White Paper, Students at the Heart of the System, announced a strengthening of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and the role of the independent Director. The role of the Director is to promote and increase fair access to higher education for lower income and other under-represented groups, a key part of the Government’s social mobility agenda. We are seeking candidates from a wide range of backgrounds to appoint an outstanding individual who can drive rapid progress in meeting these goals.
Candidates will be able to demonstrate from previous experience that they can develop very high level cooperative working relationships with a diverse set of stakeholders.
Ahem, WAKE UP! There’s more …
The essence of the role surrounds negotiating and securing agreement to challenging plans to make progress to significantly increase access to higher education, and taking steps to enforce agreements that are not being fulfilled.
Thank god you’re here, social-engineering-enforcement-man(/woman)!
Now you may vaguely recall the Office for Fair Access. It was the latest result of the tendency for the Left to do the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result.
First they sacrificed the futures of generations of children on the alter of egalitarianism as the comprehensive education experiment was set up and then failed. The trouble with seeing ‘equality’ as the main outcome is that the goal can be most easily met by everyone achieving equally poor results. No-one sets out with that goal in mind, but it is the inevitable result of any system that prioritises ‘equality’ over all else.
Unable to comprehend that the socialist dream could ever fail, they next shoot the messenger and blame the exam system. Grade inflation sets in (and if you really want to be disavowed of any idea that grade inflation is a right wing myth, ask a teacher about it).
So as we move up through the school years we get to higher education, and universities find themselves swamped with potential students – cruelly labouring under the idea that 50% of them are entitled to a place – all with ‘excellent’ grades and indoctrinated into thinking that coming out the other end having a BA with a mere pass in The History of Peruvian Basket Weaving will land them a job as DG of the BBC or somesuch.
The trouble is that some of these students have then to be put through remedial courses to bring them up to the standard of numeracy and literacy that, in earlier times, would have been taken for granted in an undergraduate.
So the unis have to hike up the entry requirements ever higher. The Left, however, start to notice that some pupils from comprehensives aren’t getting into higher education. As imposing egalitarian principles on the education system has only ever been A Good Thing and so cannot possibly be the problem, it must be a conspiracy by the universities, this ‘getting good enough grades in proper subjects’ thing. They shouldn’t be allowed to exclude entrants from the Bog Standard Street comp. on the grounds that they
can’t add up got their grades in Theatre Studies instead of Mathematics.
The solution, naturally, is to have a regulator with all the salaries, support staff and premises deserving of such a warrior for social justice. Including a £78,000 (£130k pro rata for a 3 day week) salary.
So universities are punished for trying to deal with the problems inherited from the secondary schools. The secondary schools are having to spend time filling the gaps left by the primary schools who have had to divert efforts into fixing the early years’ shortcomings, and the early years settings point out the toddlers who are dumped on them by parents who haven’t even bothered potty training them, ‘cos isn’t that why the government are paying for them to go to pre-school innit?
Because, you see, it’s the government’s fault, and so government must do something about it, and so if what the government is doing doesn’t work, it must be the government’s fault, so government should do something about it …
Purely as an aside, there are no grammar schools in Inner London, which doesn’t bode well if you have any academic ability (although having hypocritical parents seems to help).