Innate personal characteristics, early years experience, diet, housing, income levels and parental education/involvement affect attainments far more than do schools, just as they do health to much greater extent than do medical services.
Having more children from poor homes attend universities is a worthy aim but it has no relevance to the majority who have neither the abilities nor the desire to do this.
Education should fit children’s individual needs, abilities and interests.
The “one-size-fits-all” approach has done huge harm. Equating educational progress with “raising standards in schools” and using exam results to assess, will not serve either pupils or society well.
Few think that our many health problems will be solved by “raising standards in hospitals”.
In truth, only a small fraction of what we know was learned in classrooms and most of that is soon forgotten.
Attitudes are important. Consciousness, patience, perseverance, tolerance, openness, willingness to learn and honesty are needed in all aspects of life but clearly lacking in many adults at all levels of society.
Many children will be faced with high levels of insecurity and emotional stress throughout their lives; little will be done to prepare them for this by the government’s priorities.