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A Legitimate Division within Society

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The independent is ironical states simply “ fair enough” to these policies but then criticizes Blunkett for not actually putting the practical resources at the disposal of teachers to be able to teach these children. The article could almost be seen as a reaction to the previous one in which the minister suggested that social classes were all to be rejected as a legitimate division within society. In other words, some children are so handicapped that they cannot be told alongside “ normal” children. This social stratification is needed for two reasons: first, the other children will be unable to learn in the same way if these children are within the class and secondly because the teachers need specialized training that cannot be provided to them in ordinary teacher training programs.

At times The independent suggests ideology needs to be trumped by practical considerations. Few people would deny that it is ideal not to discriminate against handicapped children by putting them in special schools that seem to ostracize them from normal society, but unless the government is prepared to invest huge sums of money in new training programs and in new facilities in virtually every school in the country such social divisions among children while unpleasant are perhaps inevitable.

The independent leading article ends with a statement that the Baroness who had pioneered inclusion over  30 years ago has recently condemned the legacy from David Plunkett of what she calls a dogmatic approach. It becomes clear from this brief discussion of three different studies that use a class as a tool or as the main subject for analysis, that class is still a major component of British society.

We no longer live within a country in which classes were regarded as a virtuous and inevitable way of dividing the country. The word class always has some kind of pejorative associated with it. The first study used class in a remarkably open and honest manner. The class was merely a variable used to study medical differences between men of different ages and occupations. The class was assumed in the study. No moral judgment was put to it because it merely exists.

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