If it doesn't work then why not invent a reason it should? Credit Mtaylor848 CC-BY-SA-4.0

Entirely just a scare story, something invented in the corners of our own heads. To see this complaining about children’s pre-school literacy and verbosity as a conspiracy, no doubt about it at all. And yet, and yet. If you were to be one of those who insist that the State should be bringing up all children so that they can be taught RightThink then isn’t this part of what you would do? Even, if you were simply a supporter of Sure Start and the like wouldn’t you want to find a reason why it all works, despite all the evidence to the contrary so far?

No, obviously, we’re paranoid:

Children being sent to school unable to speak in sentences is a “persistent scandal”, the Education Secretary is to tell parents.

In his first major speech on social mobility, Damian Hinds will promise to tackle the “last taboo” in education by highlighting the fact that many mothers and fathers are failing to teach their children how to talk.

Speaking at the Resolution Foundation in Westminster on Tuesday, he will say that he has no desire to “lecture” parents about how to raise their children.

But he will warn that children who start school at age four behind their peers rarely catch up and instead “the gap just widens”.

“It is a persistent scandal that we have children starting school not able to communicate in full sentences, not able to read simple words,” he will say.

Our evidence so far is that Sure Start centres don’t actually make any notable difference to anything very much. Yet there is still that burning desire to make sure that children are brought up without the sort of BadThink engendered by the individualism of actual families. Therefore we’ve got to come up with some reason why Sure Start and the like are important additions to the State’s control of the next generation. How is it possible to inculcate the correct love of central control without getting them young?

We might note that the Jesuits only demanded them from 7 onwards. But, you know, state inefficiency:

“And the truth is that the vast majority of these children’s time is at home. Yes, the home learning environment can be, understandably, the last taboo in education policy – but we can’t afford to ignore it when it comes to social mobility. “

Ah, there it is, our reason. Social Mobility! The children of the poor, their path in life is determined before we enlightened manage to get our hands upon them:

A separate study shows that children with poor vocabulary at age five are more than twice as likely to be unemployed at age 34 as children with good vocabulary.

Mr Hinds will say that he wants to halve the number of children starting school without the early speaking or reading skills they need by 2028.

The answer is that the State should have them earlier. Sure Start is saved! Huzzah!

Yes, yes, of course this is paranoia. The British left could never be that organised, could they? And yet, and yet, there does seem to be an awful lot of thrashing around in search of a justification for The Elect to be bringing up all the children in the country from the very earliest age that it’s possible to influence their beliefs.

Who knows, perhaps the nursery songs to teach them interesting words will feature Pavel Morozov? Pavlika, Pavlika, ya ya could go along nicely to that Kate Bush tune, no?

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Phoenix84jghSpikeEsteban DeGolfBloke in North Dorset Recent comment authors

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Yes your particular fears are paranoid. It is simply the continued expansion of the education empire. An expansion that needs reversing as it is extremely wasteful, costly, interferes in everyone’s lives and makes everyone poorer.
Their rejection of the idea that those with a poor vocabulary are simply not bright but need more teaching is just an excuse to expand the empire.


A third option is that they are reticent — They have been plucked out of the home and dropped into a Collective where they can see that certain observations, even if true, attract attention, unpleasant reactions, and punishment.

Bloke in North Dorset

I wonder who these pupils are that can’t string a sentence together, in English?

I’m also suspicious when MPs and other establishment figures talk about social mobility. The term implies a downward as well as upward direction and I’m sure they don’t want their offspring being challenged by the offspring of oiks, they might come off second best.

Esteban DeGolf

In the U.S. there is a Federal program called Head Start that is supposed to help poor children close the gap before they start school. It turns out that studies consistently show that any benefits disappear long before they reach high school. However, the program keeps rolling on – as more than one wag has observed, if you doubt that eternal life exists, just look at almost any government program.


Not just Head Start but government schooling itself was portrayed as an equalizer, a Social Mobility tool. The flinty were told that just this one more social program would obviate all the others. Hardly! It has become a venue for government-provided meals and a way to interrogate kids about their parents’ preferences. It is not paranoia to observe that a program to teach kids to speak is being defended with outlandish claims about parental neglect. But if the program is created, you can be sure that its army of employees will argue that it cannot be dismantled, otherwise Britons will… Read more »


This looks a lot like: 25% of children are in the bottom 25%, shock horror!

Digging into it a bit more, I think it also reveals SJWs’ innate belief in human mutability, how *DARE* thick 5-year-olds grow up to be thick 35-year-olds!!! A person’s ability at 5 should, nay MUST! have no effect on their ability at age 35.


Has our dear Mr. Hinds got cause and effect all mixed up? The kids who don’t do well at four also don’t do well at 34 because they are not very bright. It reminds me of the sainted David Milliband, who after reading research that showed that children who learnt to read early and well lived in houses with lots of books, decided the solution was free books. Magic books presumably.