Public schools and exams | Bernie Evans

Yes, Eleanor Doughty, many do feel aggrieved by public schools, “with their charitable status”, “old boys` network”, and “often excellent results”, but its got nothing to do with the Tory idea of “politics of envy” (Looking confident takes you a long way, 14/07/18). It has far more to do with unfairness. We are now learning more about schools in the public sector entering their pupils for IGCSE and Pre-U examinations, both organised by Cambridge Assessment, which is not a member of the Joint Council for Qualifications which monitors all other exam boards. A recent FOI request revealed Pre-U…

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Shame on Oxbridge! | Bernie Evans

Shame on Oxbridge (A degree of separation, 07/07/18)! How many students like the brilliant Michael Donkor have the Oxbridge colleges rejected because their A-level grades, gained in underfunded state comprehensives, didn`t quite match those achieved by the over-privileged 7%? How many did they put off from applying with their outmoded admissions procedure, unsympathetic interviews, and their obvious preference for white, upper-middle class students? The sooner a government has the courage to limit universities to accepting only 7% of their intake from public schools, the better!

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Guardian letter on Pre-U results | Bernie Evans

With the independent sector continuing to use IGCSEs, it is little wonder that concerns have been reignited “among some heads that the state-private divide will widen” (Opinion: The saga of the IGCSE: if it`s good enough for Eton, why not for my local school? 10/07/18). “Competing equally for the best university places” is clearly a government policy that is dead in the water.        A-levels are also being sidelined by many public and high-achieving state schools which opt instead for Pre-U examinations. These are set and marked by teachers in the independent sector, are not regulated like…

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Austerity still ticking Tory boxes | Bernie Evans

Brexit has, as Helen Lewis rightly says, “poisoned our politics”, but, sadly, it hasn`t led to the Tory party “immolating everything it supposedly stood for” (Out of the Ordinary, 29th June, 2018). Austerity, despite its subservience to the need to “buy off” the DUP, is still being used as the excuse to shrink the state. Even when Theresa May wants us to believe in Tory generosity and compassion because she is allowing a £20m cash injection for the NHS, her mendacity does not end with the “Brexit dividend”. Apparently, it led to Hammond telling cabinet “colleagues” that extra funding for all…

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Unoublished: From Cameron and penalties to Buck House, and more | Bernie Evans

Actually, Mr Cameron, as history should have taught you, “England and penalty shoot-outs” do “go together” (Quote of the day, 05/07/18). What “don`t go together” are prime ministerial leadership and referendums, something apparently, even the most expensive education in the country did not teach you.
Now that we have an approved word for “rude or obnoxious persons”, can Guardian letter writers feel free to use it when writing about the people responsible for the callous austerity cuts, the underfunding of all public services, under-investment in all areas of the UK except London, and the…

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Investing £20bn in NHS is cheaper than we think | Bernie Evans

Prime Minister, Theresa May really did “make much fanfare about a 3.4% funding boost” for the NHS, trying to get the public to believe in the myth that is “Tory compassion”. Not only did she want us convinced the NHS funding crisis would be solved, when the truth is that a 5% increase at least is necessary for the UK to “keep up with other modern societies”, but also that extra borrowing, or the much more likely extra taxation would be needed for the government to be able to afford the £20bn.     This is, quite simply, a con!.If £20bn is to be invested in any public service, much of the…

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RBS sale a disgrace | Bernie Evans

As Unite national officer, Rob MacGregor says, the sale of RBS shares, at a loss of £2bn to the British taxpayer, is “a betrayal of public finances”. It`s even worse than when George Osborne sold RBS shares to Tory friends in the City in 2015, which the National Audit Office calculated cost  a mere £1.9bn!     Hammond`s sale begs obvious questions, not just about this government`s economic competence, but about its failure to pursue any policy which hints of morality. Notwithstanding its support for privatised banks, selling shares at 271 is bad enough, when closing price the night before was…

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