Driving round Kenya, Iâ€™m constantly struck by the sheer number of schools. Every 500 yards thereâ€™s a hand-painted sign advertising the virtues of some â€śacademyâ€ť or other. The truly remarkable thing is that at least 10 per cent boast of teaching the â€śBritish curriculumâ€ť.
The reason this is remarkable isnâ€™t just because thereâ€™s no such thing as a â€śBritish curriculumâ€ť and hasnâ€™t been since responsibility for education policy was devolved to the UKâ€™s regional Parliaments. Thereâ€™s an English National Curriculum that dates back to the last government, but itâ€™s hardly the envy of the world. On the contrary, itâ€™s a mishmash of New Labour gobbledegook about â€śskillsâ€ť and â€śdiversityâ€ť and helps explain why our schoolchildren have plummeted in the international league tables. Iâ€™m 99.9 per cent certain that not a single one of the pupils at these Kenyan schools is learning about Mary Seacole. (To read more, click here.)