8 million people read The Sun

Prince Harry’s brief flirtation with nudity has reminded us all that The Sun has 8m readers.

If this is correct and I have no reason to doubt it, I can only say “God help our country”.  Michael Gove is doing his best to reform our creaking school system that has failed generations of our children but it is necessarily a long term process, like turning the direction of a massive container ship.  At present, compulsory schooling is from ages 5 to 16 and soon to rise to 18.  Many youngsters attend nurseries or school earlier than age 5 although there is great variation between pure play, pure learning and a combination of the two.  The staggering truth of our school system is that too many children can emerge after more than a decade of learning without the ability to read, write and do simple arithmetic.

The closest simile I can find is a Mini car that emerges from the paint shop at BMW Cowley without very much paint on it.  I think this comparison has some logic.  Our schools feel like production lines with children being shunted through at speed without adequate quality control but that is where the comparison with the BMW Mini ends.  The Cowley BMW Mini factory has first class quality control and remedies failings before it is too late.  Schools seem incapable of identifying failures early and re-cycling them through the production line until they are up to standard.     The Sun should be grateful but the country should not.

If 8m of our citizens are satisfied with the content, style and philosophy of The Sun, I think Gove’s reforms have a long way to go to create a better educated and more discerning society.   Get to it Michael!

About Keith R Mitchell CBE

Qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1967. Pursued a successful career in financial training and publishing until selling his interests in 1990. Elected a County Councillor for the Bloxham Division in 1989. Leader of Oxfordshire County Council 5 November 2001 to 15 May 2012. Chairman of the South East England Regional Planning Committee July 2002 to July 2005. Chairman of the South East England Regional Assembly July 2005 to July 2008. In HM the Queen’s 2007 Birthday Honours, appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in recognition of services to local government.
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