Because of the snow we found ourselves housebound this Sunday morning and tuning in to Nicky Campbell's "The Big Questions" on BBC TV broadcast live from a school, King Edward VI School in Southampton.
It seems that Nicky Campbell is the Jerry Springer of Political TV Debate, and made no intervention to scold the many rude and arrogant contributions by Peter Hitchens. This occurred during the debate on Grammar Schools when he confronted Sheila Dore an experienced Educationalist and campaigner, claiming bizarrely that she interrupted him, when the reverse was true.
Nicky Campbell is at fault for allowing this bullying to happen.
But it is not the rudeness and arrogance of Peter Hitchens that concerns me because I expect nothing else from this man; it is the "argument" that concerns me that he shares with Roger Peach who campaigns in support of Grammar schools.
A Grammar school is a school that exists to educate the most gifted, traditionally by selection using the 11 plus examination. Some might find that offensive in itself, but I merely state that as fact.
Bizarrely, Roger Peach and Peter Hitchens both argued the supremacy of Grammar Schools by citing the examination results as if it were at all surprising that Grammar schools achieved a higher number of GCSE passes than a state school, since a state school would embrace all comers, including pupils with special needs.
Sheila Dore, an experienced Educationalist and campaigner tried valiantly to correct the two bullies and should have been supported by Nicky Campbell, particularly in a school setting.
The quality of a school is usually measured by Academic tables which are misleading because they do not measure the value added by the school, and only what the already gifted pupils have achieved academically. It is perfectly possible that Grammar schools have failed their pupils, by adding no value whatever, even if they have achieved better examination results than disadvantaged state schools to which they are unfairly compared.
Ofsted fails to inform and advise parents of this conundrum, and that is a problem. Ofsted should do better.
In any event the single most damaging obstacle of any school is the behaviour of pupils, and these two arrogant ill-informed grammar school boys, Hitchens and Peach, exemplify that problem.
Nicky Campbell should apologise to Sheila Dore, for allowing the offensive bullying.