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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 November, 2003, 12:36 GMT
MP attacks Abbott's school choice
Diane Abbott
Diane Abbott is under fire from her neighbouring MP over her school choice
Diane Abbott has been attacked by a fellow east London Labour MP for undermining local state schools by sending her son to a private school.

Brian Sedgemore, MP for Hackney South, said Ms Abbott was sending the message that state schools were "rubbish".

Ms Abbott, also a Hackney MP, had deserved the "lash" of her own self-criticism, said Mr Sedgemore.

The row was sparked by the sending of Ms Abbott's son to the independent City of London school.

"Ever since she decided to send her son to a posh public school in the City of London, Diane Abbott has been scourging herself with thongs in a frenzied manner not seen since the monks of old," said Mr Sedgemore.

"She deserves every lash she has given herself and every weal that has resulted."

'Inconsistent'

Ms Abbott had described her choice of a private education for her son as "inconsistent" with her own left-wing, egalitarian politics.

But she said that race had been a factor in her decision, as too many black boys were unsuccessful within inner-city state schools.

In state schools in Hackney, she had said that only 9% of black boys achieved five or more good GCSEs.

Last year's secondary school league tables showed that the average GCSE results for schools in Hackney were about 20 percentage points below the national average. Less than a third of pupils were achieving five or more good GCSEs.

The head of education in London, Tim Brighhouse, had also challenged Ms Abbott's opting out of the state system, saying that it was a myth that London schools were under-performing.




SEE ALSO:
Abbott criticised over school choice
27 Oct 03  |  Education
Ofsted chief to run Hackney schools
15 Jan 02  |  Education
Inner-city schools 'still struggling'
01 Jun 03  |  Education
'Myth about poor London schools'
31 Oct 03  |  Education



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