2 MAY 1987, Page 5


LAST weekend Mr Bryan Gould accused Mr Kenneth Baker, the Secretary of State for Education, of disqualifying himself from that job by sending his three children to private school. It is ,a somewhat desper- ate jibe for one of Labour's brighter MPs to make. There is a general objection to Mr Gould's attack, that politicians' chil- dren should not be dragged into political argument. So far as education is con- cerned, it is the overriding duty of parents to do the best possible for their children. Mr Baker explained on a recent radio phone-in programme that he educated his children privately because like many pa- rents in central London he feared that the Labour-controlled Inner London Educa- tion Authority would not provide adequate education in state schools. It is a pity that more parents who would like to remove their children from Ilea's care are unable to do so. We hope that the next Conservative manifesto will include proposals greatly to extend parental choice in education. In the meantime, we do not see that ministers must oblige their children to use those parts of the state system with which they are themselves concerned. The Minister of Housing is not required to move his family into a council house. He should, on the other hand, do all he can to enable those who do not want to live in council houses to move.