Week 20: Villain – Richard Walden

by George_East on May 18, 2014

Teacher_VillainThis Week’s Villain of the Week is the Chairman of the Independent Schools Association for his remarks that state schools are churning out amoral children

If you want the clearest evidence possible of the distance between those who rule and the rest of us, look no further than the remarks this week of the Chairman of the Independent Schools Association.

Now naively, you would hope that someone who was a head teacher himself and in the exalted position of being in charge of the representative body for private education, the Independent Schools Association, would have some sense of the privilege of those who are educated by his members and a degree of humility as a result.

Perhaps such a person might extol the virtues of education in the country’s private schools and the opportunities that such an education brings to its pupils as compared to state schools – that would be forgiveable even if it failed to recognise that the old school tie connections and the Oxbridge hothousing such schools provide are more important than the quality of their education – indeed it is these things that parents pay for.

What you would not expect is for the Chairman of that Association, Richard Walden, to suggest that 93% of the country’s children (ie those educated in state schools) are amoral.  That the result of their failure to be fortunate enough to have parents who have paid enormous sums for their education, is a threat to the very foundation of civilization.

It is hard to imagine comments (even if they were dressed up as an attack on league tables – it is because of an obsessive focus on those apparently that state schools are producing feral amoral barbarians unable to understand right from wrong) more detached from reality or more stigmatising of most children in the country as ‘the other’.

Of course in a country in which the elites of the professions, politics and business all come from a tiny swathe of society and in which most of this elite barely know anyone who went to a state school let alone choose to send their own children to such schools, Richard Walden’s comments will no doubt confirm all of the ingrained  prejudices that the gatekeepers to those careers already have and the uber-privileged will become even more so as a result.  A villain indeed.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Fionauk512 May 18, 2014 at 5:41 pm

What an utter tool. Being in the business of teaching kids religion and philosophy all my lessons are centred around questions of ethics and morality, challenging ideas and social conventions so that they have the opportunity to discuss, evaluate and find their way to understanding how to examine the big questions of life. All of this within the confines of a state school, and this goes on day in day out in every other school I’ve come across. The other part of his sweeping statement is the obvious contempt he has for the parents of state educated pupils, who according to him don’t seem to have prepared their offspring with any sense of right and wrong, bearing in mind the odious assumptions he makes. I repeat, what a tool.


Ray North May 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm

I really really really hate this man – how dare he!


Fionauk512 May 18, 2014 at 8:00 pm

There’s been a bit of a glut of vile ideas thrown around in the last few days. What about introducing private companies and the profit motive to Children’s Services. SERCO or G4s to determine whether children should be taken into care…really, REALLY!


George_East May 18, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Yes – Gove was a close runner up on the Villain vote this week for that little piece of policy poison.


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