If you’re on Twitter or Facebook or have just been alive in the past 24 hours, you’ve probably already heard about the Conservative councillor who’s resigned following deeply unsavoury remarks about black and ethnic minority children from Stockwell coming to study at a state boarding school in West Sussex.
We’re going to pass over the “sexual volcano” comments as too nuts to even engage with, and focus instead on this, er, gem, told to the Mail on Sunday:
Ninety-seven per cent of pupils will be black or Asian. It depends what type of Asian. If they’re Chinese they’ll rise to the top. If they’re Indian they’ll rise to the top. If they’re Pakistani they won’t.
Apart from the shocking national stereotyping going on, this kind of talk does a massive disservice to London’s schoolkids, who currently achieve some of the best GCSE results in the country. Research by the Financial Times showed that even children in the capital’s poorer neighbourhoods do better than the average non-London 16 year old – and that’s in a secondary system where more than half of pupils are from a BME background. Basically, London’s kids rock and they can do without outdated notions of inner city failure being tagged to them.
What Durand Academy plan to do is open a Monday-Friday state boarding school for pupils in years 9-13, allowing for an extended school day and to build on already excellent results. A slot on this morning’s Today programme (hear it from 2 hours 30 mins in) featured another local councillor objecting to the school on the grounds that bringing a bunch of kids into the area would ruin the countryside. She denies accusations of NIMBYism; we think she’ll be pleasantly surprised at the energy and passion.