Hero or cheat?

The Church of England - - COMMENT -

Michael Gove and his wife, Sarah Vine, have been widely praised for their de­ci­sion to send their daugh­ter to a state com­pre­hen­sive, Grey Coats Hospi­tal C of E School in West­min­ster. It has been claimed that Gove is the first Ed­u­ca­tion Sec­re­tary to send a child to a state school. But not ev­ery­one is pleased. Peter Hitchens was one of the first to sound off in the Mail on Sun­day, point­ing out that the school is not an easy one to get into and even post­ing its ad­mis­sions rules on his blog. “You would have to be a mix­ture of Al­bert Ein­stein and St Thomas Aquinas to work out what they ac­tu­ally mean in prac­tice,” he says about the rules. Early last month the in­de­pen­dent Of­fice of Schools Ad­ju­di­ca­tions crit­i­cised Grey Coats for mak­ing de­mands in terms of church clean­ing, singing in the choir and flower ar­range­ment that would be hard for a sin­gle par­ent to ful­fil. Grey Coats gets 900 ap­pli­cants ev­ery year for 151 places. Hitchens and the oth­ers who crit­i­cise Gove and Vine should at least stop to con­sider the fact that their re­li­gious views may just have played a part in their de­ci­sion. Gove is a reg­u­lar at St Mary Ab­bots and sent his daugh­ter to the pri­mary school there. He surely has more right to send his daugh­ter to Grey Coats that Har­riet Har­man, who man­aged to get her daugh­ter in there in 1998.

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