Ominously, Gordon Brown has said he wants to make sure that:
a minimum of four hours of sport a week is the reality for most children in Britain, not just for those who want it
Uh, hang on a minute. I’m all for making sports facilities available, but I thought the government was just waking up to the novel possibility of giving children a say in their education?
Mr Brown says in the interview that his memories of his school days are less about his academic studies than about the sports teams in which he was involved and he remembers the joy of being picked for the school rugby team.
Ah, I see. This is about nostalgia, plus the unshakeable conviction some people have that their own experience can be generalised into an education policy. How about this one, then? Music was my thing (certainly not sport) and therefore I propose that schools should provide 4 hours of music every week, whether children want it or not.
“I am a believer in competitive sports,” Mr Brown said. “I think people do better when challenged and you are challenged when involved in teams and comeptitions.”
OK, but I’ll argue that there’s nothing like being in an orchestra, band or choir for a bit of team-playing, and there are plenty of competitive festivals to provide that frisson of rivalry.
There again, maybe we could just let children have the choice. Hmm, strikes me that the government hasn’t quite got the hang of this ‘personalised learning thingy’ yet.