In response to The Conservative Woman: While British pupils flounder, £20m goes to Palestinian schools for martyrs, Owen_Morgan wrote:
I entirely agree that British taxpayers should not be funding hatred (or anything else, for that matter) in Palestinian madrassas. One point, however, on which I take issue with both Douglas Murray’s article and this one is the idea that more spending on British schooling is the answer to the disastrous levels of attainment in British schools. Remember: that 20 per cent illiteracy rate is not evenly spread. Some schools achieve a 100 per cent literacy rate, but that means there are others with a literacy rate pretty close to zero. Lack of money is simply not the issue.
Rather, we should look at bad discipline and poor teaching practices, combined with a reflexive acceptance of failure. For the teaching unions, bad results allow them to bleat about ‘austerity’, but the unions have been central to the failings of British education for decades, during which time huge amounts of money have been directed at schools, without ever resulting in a commensurate improvement in standards.
As I suggested in a comment on Murray’s article, abolition of both the Department for International Development and the Department for Education would be an important first step in fixing both problems.