Here's something you don't hear me say very often: Gordon Brown is right. Today he told us:
"We can no longer tolerate failure, no longer will it be acceptable for any child to fall behind, no longer acceptable for any school to fail its pupils, no longer acceptable for young people to drop out of education without good qualifications without us acting. No more toleration of second best in Britain. No more toleration of second best for Britain."However, he is mistaken in thinking that the state should take over or close down schools that fail our children. Instead, it is time to let the market decide.
Rather than controlling schools from the centre, the state should pay schools on a per-pupil basis via a voucher or tax credit scheme, allowing parents and guardians to choose the school they would like to send their children to, promoting higher standards, innovation and competition. Failing schools will be taken over by successful education providers or be forced to close down by parental choice.
Of course, it will come at a cost: no more expensive central bureaucracy.