Episode 10 The Big Questions


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Episode 10

Nicky Campbell presents live debate from the University of Kent in Canterbury. He asks: Do the brightest do better at grammar schools? And is using drones ethical?


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Today on The Big Questions - the impact of grammar schools,

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the ethics of drones, and pruning the Church of England.

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Good morning, I'm Nicky Campbell, welcome to The Big Questions.

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Today we're live from the University of Kent in Canterbury.

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Welcome, everybody, to The Big Questions.

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On Friday, the Education Secretary, Justine Greening, was heckled

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by angry head teachers when she claimed that grammar

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schools help close the attainment gap for disadvantaged children.

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The Prime Minister has called it her "personal mission" to end

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what she calls the "brutal and unacceptable" facts

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of school selection based on income - specifically,

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who can afford to buy property in the catchment areas of the best

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?320 million was set aside in this week's Budget to fund

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140 new free schools, many of which could become grammars.

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Here in Kent, the county council never abandoned

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So, it is a particularly good place to ask our first Big Question -

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do the brightest do better at grammar schools?

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A good moral and ethical debate, the greatest good and the greatest

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number against giving some children the opportunity to achieve

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something. Sian Griffiths, you had a daughter there, what did it give

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your daughter being at grammar school, what was the essential

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difference? Yes, my daughter did go, she went to the girl's Grammar

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school, I was quite mixed because I went to a comprehensive which was

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coeducational. She was very lucky, she went to one of the best grammar

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schools in the country, Henrietta Barnett in north London. What it

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gave her, not only did it give her an amazing

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exam results, she went to a very good university and is now a lawyer,

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but what it really gave her, this is the thing I thought was amazing

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which I had not anticipated, it gave her peer group, a group of

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girlfriends who are also in their 20s now who she is still very close

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to and who she grew up with in her school, and we think about grammar

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schools and often think, yes, they have fantastic academic results with

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A and A* grades, many of them go on to Oxford and Cambridge, but

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grubbing up as a teenager it is important that your peer group is a

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group that you can fit into and grow upward. What was it about that peer

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group that enabled her to fit in? She is obviously quite academic, she

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was a very booky girl, not keen on sport. They were similar, academic,

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aspirational, not particularly keen on sport either, so she never felt

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out of place, and I know other children who are equally bright who

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went to comprehensive schools, and I'm thinking of one in particular,

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he went to a comprehensive School, he was very bright and his peer

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group was a group which valued football, football was the thing, if

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you were good at football venue fitted in, you were the star, if you

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were good at maths you didn't fit in, so he downplayed his maths

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ability, played up his football ability. Embarrassed to be good at

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maths? Embarrassed, and as a result he does not have the confidence and

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the sense that it is great to be academically good. A different

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ethos? Wanda, what about that, a different ethos, giving

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working-class and middle-class kids a chance to achieve in that

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environment? I think that is a great experience and I'm pleased your

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daughter was able to have that, but surely we want that for all of our

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children? By giving these resources to grammar schools and encouraging a

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small amount of poor but bright children to go to these schools,

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when we know very few of them do so, we know if your socioeconomic

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background, if you come from a more deprived background, you have around

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6% chance of going to a background -- going to a grammar school if

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there are grammar schools in that area but it is great when children

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find a school that can nurture them, feel at home, have a good group of

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friends, but don't we want that for all children? You are applauding?! I

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agree, there are lots of bright kids in this country, many from

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working-class backgrounds, who do not get the chance to fulfil their

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potential, and that... Would this be our way? It could be, we have a

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small number of grammar schools, 163, and thousands of state

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secondary schools, so it is a tiny percentage, so most kids in this

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country don't even get the chance to apply to a grammar school, there are

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just no grammar schools in their counties. At a time when grammar

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schools were at their apex, there were more working-class kids

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succeeding in those professions than ever before or since, shouldn't we

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think about that? This experiment, selective children alone, was tried

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for 20 years, I was an education generalist, it was a disaster, it

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just didn't work. The idea of going backwards to a time when two thirds

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of children at age 11 were told, no, you will not enjoy the benefits of

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grammar school, we cannot go back to those days. The nonsense of it at

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the moment, some bit to do with parental choice. Parents don't use

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grammar schools, grammar schools choose parents. The reality is

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selection by the school. At the moment it is often on income, houses

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are 60% more in catchment areas where there are good schools. That

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is a real problem with comprehensives, no doubt about it,

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but the idea you will solve it by selecting children at age 11, a

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cruel age to select children for their future, putting them in an

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establishment which inevitably leaves out working-class kids, very

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few working-class kids go to grammar schools, this is a way of

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privileging some children, they are very good schools, I can't argue

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with that, but to say we can only afford to educate a third of the

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population, under reforms only 1% under these particular schools, is a

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nonsense. Chris McGovern, do you want to come in, the campaign for

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real education? I'm a secretary modern schoolboy, Simon is a posh

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public school boy. This is important because people Newsbeat on this,

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let's have some experience. David Cameron reminded his party

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conference 18 months ago that this country has the worst rate of social

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mobility in the world, that is... He also said a selective system will

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not raise standards. Let's look at that, the crowning achievement of

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the comprehensive school system is a more divided society.

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Children who are able to buy into, parents who can buy into a good

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catchment area go to a good school or the independent sector. We need

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to educate children in line with aptitude, some children are

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academic, they need an academic education such as is provided by

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grammar schools. Children of the more vocational orientation, more

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technically oriented, need good technical schools. We have to get

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away from the snobbery that a grammar education is superior to a

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technical education. Educating children in line with how much their

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parents can afford... And the reason for that, and major reason, never

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mentioned, as to why so few poor children go to grammar school is

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because the primary schools are not putting these children forward for

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grammar school, not tutoring them for the 11 plus, so the only way to

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get to a grammar school is to employ a private tutor. We need lots more

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grammar schools, we need them in deprived areas, we need to give

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children the capacity to achieve to their maximum and get

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away from the idea for heaven 's sake that somehow Charles Dickens is

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superior to Isambard Kingdom Brunel. We need both, the rest of the world

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have academic pathway and the occasional pathway, they argue when

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it is done, 11 in Switzerland, 15 in China. Maximise the attitude of

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children, some need grammar school, some need vocation, and

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comprehensives can be very poor at that. Let's go to the audience, I

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know there were lots of views. A persuasive argument? No, I grew up

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on a council estate, my father was a hard-working manual worker, on the

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dole, then disabled in my youth. I went to a comprehensive and then,

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somehow, found myself studying in Oxford. The amount of snobbery that

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came and the amount of ignorance that came from people who had been

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to private school but sometimes also grammar schools because of people

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being separated out into social groups or even the supposedly

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educational preferences. Education as well as the academic and

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technical side has to involve meeting different people,

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experiencing different cultures, and this is one of the problems with

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private schools, single sex schools, they don't allow people to

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experience diversity of life, to learn from each other. We need to

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segregate people less, not more. If we had more grammar schools there

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would be fewer private schools. And don't forget Wendy grammar school

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system was pushed to one side and the comprehensive system came in,

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they had to abolish the O-level exam, the grammar school exam,

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because it was too hard but we still send that to Singapore and they are

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top of the world. We have a dumbed down exam system introduced for the

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comprehensive intake. Let's hear from the audience. I will be with

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you in a second, some dis- behaviour in the classroom! You are your last

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warning! Good morning. I would just like to say I don't think that all

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children that go to comprehensive schools don't achieve. All by

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children, I must admit the 11 plus and didn't quite get their... Was

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that a disappointing day? It was, because I paid for a tutor so I was

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disappointed. However, now I have one at university, which is here,

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two are A* students, so they are in a comprehensive school, so even

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though we are putting down the comprehensive system, I went to

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comprehensive, my sister went to grammar, she is in the same

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position. Parents are very important, the situation at home.

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Yes, but they are happy, I don't think it should be put down as much

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as we are putting them down, the teachers do really good jobs.

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Gentleman there in the leather jacket, hello. I ended up going to a

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secondary school in a year that they decided to experiment with going on

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teacher's recommendation and it failed me completely. I would have

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done much better in a school that pushed me much harder to take

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advantage of my natural inclination, head and shoulders above my peers

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academically. But even back in 1999, the independent reported a study

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that showed that less academically inclined students did better in a

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comprehensive rather than a secondary, but students that would

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have been selected for a grammar school did as well or better in a

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comprehensive as well. So I don't really see, all these years on, the

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debate is even open the question. I think it is a lot down to the

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attitude of the child, and not the school that you go into. On that

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point, Simon Jenkins, what do we do about the children who are

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exceptionally bright and might achieve great things in their life

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but are in homes where there are no books, no aspiration? The question

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is at what stage do you make these decisions? 11 is ludicrously soon,

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far too early, and it is cruel. I failed the 11 plus. The fact is, it

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is far too soon to make any of these decisions. What is aptitude?

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Children are assessed all the time these days. Perpetual motion. 13,

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15, 16... You have to make a decision in childhood. The comments

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made about aptitude what is important here, and this is an

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education which is bright for the right children in that case. I think

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that having selection for other kinds of aptitudes would be... Who

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are the wrong children? They are not wrong, that is one of the things,

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saying the children at age 11, you have failed, you're not saying that,

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it is not the right education for them, the aptitude those children

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have is not yours. When the Labour Government introduce specialist

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schools, I thought that could be a breakthrough, they said they would

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have money the specialist schools and thought, great, you could have

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sports specialism or maybe computers or science, whatever, but they

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wouldn't allow selection on the basis of ability for those things so

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you had not the sports specialist school with the best football teams

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around, it just had the best goalposts around. If we worked to

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make aptitude, the children's aptitude, fit the education system

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and the education system fit their aptitude, to look at the vocational

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and technical education, and great emphasis is laid on that here in

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Kent, I have to say, by the county council, I am a county councillor

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and have four children at the grammar school, that would be taking

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their education in the right direction for them. And can I just

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say, whether the brightest do best, the attainment gap in grammar

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schools between deprived children and the higher achieving colleagues

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in the school is very, very much smaller in grammar schools, so they

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are good, and what we are working on in this county is to try to get

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better access for the deprived children and there are numbers of

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measures... Dominic Grieve, David Cameron was opposed to grammar

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schools, Mrs Thatcher got rid of swathes of grammar schools. The

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legal profession, prior to your career as a politician, is so

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dominated by private schools, the figures are extraordinary, 74% of

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high profile judges in the appeals court went to independent schools.

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How do you get through that, By bringing on Jordan from

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relatively poor backgrounds and nurturing them. There are different

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ways. The grammar school system was quite effective in doing it.

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Simon Jenkins, I agree, the 11-plus is a blunt instrument.

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You can have a selection system is not wholly reliant on the 11-plus

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which relies on greater flexibility. Is there an advantage in bringing

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talented children, particularly with academic talents, together in one

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place, does it create a critical mass which is beneficial?

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The evidence is overwhelming. I have grammars in my own constituency

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which is a middle-class area and one reason why they survive is because

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the middle-class agitated actively to protect the grammars.

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Where you need schools which will do that nurturing our in deeply

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deprived areas, from which they have totally disappeared.

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I am not against academies, I have seen magnificent academies and

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visited them. There are downsides to a selective system. Unless you get

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it right, your secondary schools will suffer. That is inescapable. I

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have one which is outstanding... Is it worth it? A difficult

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question. Looking at the overall performance, it is significantly

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better than the competitive system. Not to say you don't get downsides.

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It is possible to address that. How would you address it?

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Research shows in areas with grammar schools, the state schools do worse.

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This is a small number of poor but bright if you want to use that

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phrase pupils... Why'd you not want to use that

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phrase? It is the port issue as well. And

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taking a few of them out, the disadvantage for the other pupils.

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The OECD says selective schooling increases inequality and has a

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negative effect on our children. I come back to the point, this is a

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small number of people you want to scoop out, to the detriment of the

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rest of our children. You are talking about...

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Northern Ireland has a grammar school system with consistently the

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best public school examination results in the UK. Hours of running

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three years behind South Korea. We have to improve. We are so far

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behind, bottom of the lead for literacy according to the OECD.

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Because politicians tinker with education every time there is new

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Government. They put new assessments in. We have a teacher retention

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problem, they are leaving the education system in droves because

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they are so stressed, they are stressing our children come our

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six-year-olds are being tested. There are unprecedented levels...

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If we are testing so much, we don't need the 11-plus!

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I am from Northern Ireland, we are brilliant shall be debate that?

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My problem is, grammars are failing the working class is completely. How

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you get selected when you live in a household with lots of books... I

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was sent to a technical college because of the grammar school

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system, I wasn't ready for it, I was a naughty kid. I only had three

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years of secondary education. I am now a professor with three pH D is.

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In those days I didn't get through because I wasn't considered to be

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academic and likely am an academic. A late developer. It is the

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selection process. At 11, I was not ready. That is a real problem. The

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other problem is the ins and the outs, if you are in grammar school,

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it is one thing. It is the others you need to worry about. We need to

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get the selection process right. Better if we took this notion of

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grammar school and made all schools the same.

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Simon Jenkins, we select for music and performing arts ability, even

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maths and languages, we select for sport, why not for academic ability?

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All schools stream. Selection takes place throughout life.

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We don't stream for all subjects. The problem is whether you select at

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11, that is a decent time to make this decision. This was tested the

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20 years, it is hugely researched. It was not a success politically.

:20:33.:20:40.

People were screaming to get rid of the 11-plus. The idea of bringing it

:20:41.:20:44.

back, there are 11 cases with grammar schools, almost everyone

:20:45.:20:49.

goes to competitive schools and it works on the whole. We can dig up

:20:50.:20:54.

figures somewhere in Singapore... We don't have a bad education in

:20:55.:20:59.

Britain. Public schools dominate the

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professions. If we didn't have this system, if we did have this system,

:21:03.:21:08.

go with me on this, if it were to be be imposed, what would be the best

:21:09.:21:12.

way to select for grammars? What about at 14?

:21:13.:21:20.

15 it right. You start selecting at that stage. But you split up

:21:21.:21:24.

communities at 11 and do everything wrong.

:21:25.:21:32.

It is not a good idea. And offering transfers at a number

:21:33.:21:36.

of different points, it is wrong it should be done at 11 and I there

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after. No, no... Please.

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We will be back with you later. I know you have other contributions.

:21:50.:21:55.

I agree it shouldn't just be at 11, the Government is looking at the

:21:56.:21:59.

paucity of 13. I like that model where if you have a chain of academy

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schools, one would be a grammar school. If you have bright kids in

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particular subjects in the other schools they could move into the

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grammar school for particular subjects at 13 or 14, whenever you

:22:13.:22:17.

were showing attitude. I want to pick up something from Simon that we

:22:18.:22:22.

have a good competitive system. We absolutely do not. I feel

:22:23.:22:31.

passionately about this. Sir Michael will show the last chief inspector

:22:32.:22:34.

did two reports, one in 2013, he looked at children's performance at

:22:35.:22:38.

11 in primary schools on national tests in maths and English and found

:22:39.:22:44.

there were thousands of children performing above-average com hitting

:22:45.:22:48.

level five. A lot were white working-class boys. He tracked those

:22:49.:22:53.

kids and by 16 they should have been getting a grades in nonselective

:22:54.:22:58.

schools where they went to, competences. They did not. One in

:22:59.:23:03.

the Boufal didn't even get a B grade. They weren't going on to

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universities or become lawyers or journalists or the nice jobs -- one

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in four. This system isn't working for working-class kids, not even the

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most middle-class kids. It has to change. Thank you very

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much indeed for all your thoughts. If you have something

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to say about that debate, log on to bbc.co.uk/thebigquestions,

:23:32.:23:34.

and follow the link to where you can We're also debating live this

:23:35.:23:37.

morning from the University of Kent in Canterbury,

:23:38.:23:43.

is using drones ethical? And, should the Church of England

:23:44.:23:47.

be cut down to size? So, get tweeting or emailing

:23:48.:23:50.

on those topics now, or send us any other ideas

:23:51.:23:52.

or thoughts you may This week a report into a near-miss

:23:53.:23:55.

between a ?60 million RAF Chinook helicopter coming into land at RAF

:23:56.:24:05.

Odiham and a domestic drone revealed the helicopter was just

:24:06.:24:08.

130 feet from disaster. The unknown drone pilot

:24:09.:24:14.

had completely failed to monitor its flight path to avoid

:24:15.:24:16.

collisions with other aircraft. And last week, a Royal United

:24:17.:24:22.

Services Institute conference into remote warfare said drones

:24:23.:24:25.

raised tensions in countries like Pakistan, where

:24:26.:24:27.

they are used for surveillance. And there's growing evidence

:24:28.:24:32.

that the terrorist groups being watched are now using drones

:24:33.:24:34.

themselves as weapon carriers. Drones may keep our pilots

:24:35.:24:40.

and troops safer, but do they raise bigger questions of just war

:24:41.:24:43.

principles and human rights? Well, air Marshal Black Robertson,

:24:44.:25:02.

good to have you here. Lots of people very suspicious of drones. A

:25:03.:25:08.

UN special rapporteur for the encouraged a video game mentality in

:25:09.:25:14.

operators and said they are open to abuse, and also the intimidate and

:25:15.:25:22.

alienate local populations. What you say to those people?

:25:23.:25:26.

I couldn't disagree more they encourage what was described as a

:25:27.:25:33.

video game mentality. In my experience, the RAF people who

:25:34.:25:35.

operate these and I presume that is the error you want to debate, are

:25:36.:25:40.

about the most professional individuals you could come across,

:25:41.:25:44.

their training is huge, the way they are monitored, the control that

:25:45.:25:49.

exists is about as tight as it has ever been in any form of conflict. I

:25:50.:25:54.

would like to dispel that rumour. As to whether they are ethical, it

:25:55.:25:58.

depends what you mean. If ethical means doing the right thing, then

:25:59.:26:05.

surveillance certainly saves lives. If you of to save soldiers's lives,

:26:06.:26:09.

there was a soldier out there who doesn't want to know what is over

:26:10.:26:13.

the next hill, doesn't want to be safe out there. The way of providing

:26:14.:26:21.

that safe environment is by having a drone monitoring what is going on.

:26:22.:26:25.

Let us be clear. Drones spent most of their time in the RAF sense

:26:26.:26:30.

providing surveillance which saves lives.

:26:31.:26:36.

Emily, you are back from Afghanistan?

:26:37.:26:41.

What did you see? I think it is an interesting question, I am

:26:42.:26:44.

sympathetic to a lot of those points. What was really interesting

:26:45.:26:49.

to see was the comments following a 2010 investigation into civilians

:26:50.:26:54.

who wrongfully killed in Afghanistan by a drone strike. The people in

:26:55.:27:00.

charge of writing the report from the air force pointed at this

:27:01.:27:05.

tendency to have technology and to feel almost like you are more

:27:06.:27:09.

secure, it is possible to know everything, to cut down on civilian

:27:10.:27:13.

casualties because you have more detergents.

:27:14.:27:17.

The Senate mean position? In many ways, the more precision you have,

:27:18.:27:21.

the greater your ability to cut down on civilian casualties, the better.

:27:22.:27:27.

But where drones walk you into this scenario will you get a false sense

:27:28.:27:30.

of security about how much it is possible to know.

:27:31.:27:35.

You are watching a very small subset of circumstances from the screen,

:27:36.:27:40.

putting a huge amount of response batik on people gathering that

:27:41.:27:43.

intelligence to understand what is happening on the ground.

:27:44.:27:47.

What about the perception from the ground, what did people on a grand

:27:48.:27:51.

thing about what is out there? I was going through my photos from

:27:52.:27:57.

Kabul. In almost all you have these big surveillance balloons hovering.

:27:58.:28:03.

You can see them over all the major airfields. I asked my drive about

:28:04.:28:09.

this, saying, what are they watching? He said, they are

:28:10.:28:14.

everywhere, we don't know. They were a novelty, now we are used to it.

:28:15.:28:20.

They are a good navigational tool! What is interesting is the Jones

:28:21.:28:27.

debate in the UK and how much it represents a shift on a strategic

:28:28.:28:32.

level towards more secretive warfare. In many cases in area...

:28:33.:28:38.

What transparency do you want? There are other countries using drones,

:28:39.:28:44.

look at the US, campaign has been controversial. One thing you can say

:28:45.:28:49.

is we know a lot more about the policies surrounding the US use of

:28:50.:28:55.

drones for the thumb strikes. They've released a presidential

:28:56.:28:59.

policy guidance setting out the criteria you need to have in place

:29:00.:29:02.

before a drone strike becomes permissible, a framework report in

:29:03.:29:10.

2016 which set out which groups were permissible targets. We don't have

:29:11.:29:14.

any of this for the UK. And the impact on the people, you

:29:15.:29:18.

say they have got used to it. Is there a consequence in terms of

:29:19.:29:24.

psychology on the ground? That is the strange thing. The drone

:29:25.:29:28.

programme is so relatively new, it will be hard to know the

:29:29.:29:32.

psychological impact the people on the ground and on the drone flies.

:29:33.:29:39.

And transparency, what do we need to do?

:29:40.:29:42.

We could do with being a lot more transparent. My position would be,

:29:43.:29:48.

the RAF are a lot more well-controlled in the US -- than

:29:49.:29:52.

the US. I have spoken to pilots on both sides. It is one thing, we have

:29:53.:29:58.

to make a distinction. It is one thing between the use of force in an

:29:59.:30:04.

official conflict zones. The drone allows too much flexibility. In

:30:05.:30:08.

non-conflicts owns, Pakistan isn't an official conflict zone, and the

:30:09.:30:15.

Yemen, then you have slippage. The laws of war, humanitarian laws, that

:30:16.:30:23.

is not... Let me finish... Human rights law applies and now we have a

:30:24.:30:30.

different idea about the use of force and what is proportionality,

:30:31.:30:34.

the right to surrender, the right to due process. We are killing people

:30:35.:30:40.

in these sounds, extra judicial targeting during which is not

:30:41.:30:42.

acceptable to me. There is no option to surrender, is

:30:43.:30:52.

there? The point about suggesting the UK is involved in Pakistan or

:30:53.:30:55.

Yemen is totally wrong. I was talking generally. That is the point

:30:56.:31:01.

of the debate, it is so easy to say something and that gets carried out.

:31:02.:31:07.

No, it is not true. Everything the RAF does, everything the UK does, is

:31:08.:31:11.

incredibly tightly controlled, and that would go back to appoint... So

:31:12.:31:17.

no extrajudicial killings in non-conflict zones is what you are

:31:18.:31:23.

saying? I did not say there were no extrajudicial killings... In

:31:24.:31:27.

non-conflict zones? Hang on, let me pick up on that. I can see you

:31:28.:31:36.

shifting in your seat, Symon. If al-Baghdadi, the powerful, absolute,

:31:37.:31:41.

undeniably very charismatic leader of the so-called Islamic State were

:31:42.:31:45.

to be killed by a strike from a drone, would you have a problem with

:31:46.:31:49.

that? I'd have a problem with the fact the drone would almost

:31:50.:31:53.

certainly kill other people nearby. The idea of drone is some sort of

:31:54.:31:58.

magic weapon that can target somebody, I think throughout history

:31:59.:32:03.

weapons have been invented that are supposed to be more precise, more

:32:04.:32:07.

ethical, more reliable. When the machine gun was invented, people

:32:08.:32:11.

said it was so horrific it would put people off the wall and there would

:32:12.:32:15.

be no more war as a result. We get this every time there is some sort

:32:16.:32:19.

of new weapon and we're asked to believe, naively, in this magical

:32:20.:32:24.

targeting whereby a weapon can just kill one person, whereas even by

:32:25.:32:29.

conservative estimates it is suggested around 2000 civilians have

:32:30.:32:33.

been killed in Iraq and over the last couple of years by western

:32:34.:32:38.

drones. What do you say on that point? How was that more ethical

:32:39.:32:42.

than being killed by other reside bomber? I don't see drones, they are

:32:43.:32:47.

targeted, much more targeted than most other weapons available, but

:32:48.:32:50.

exactly the same criteria is applied to the use of drones and lethal

:32:51.:32:56.

strikes as any other form of weaponry. The idea that just because

:32:57.:32:59.

you have drones you are moving into a new legal area is mistaken. The

:33:00.:33:05.

UK's use of drones for legal strikes has to be informed by domestic law,

:33:06.:33:10.

international law and human rights law. In everything done, including

:33:11.:33:16.

necessity and proportionality. In relation to any action taking place.

:33:17.:33:20.

It is important to understand that. That is not to say everything will

:33:21.:33:24.

always be got right all you can never have collateral damage, but

:33:25.:33:28.

all those things have two be factored in in exactly the same way

:33:29.:33:32.

as if you were putting troops in on the ground to do exactly the same

:33:33.:33:36.

task, from that point of view it is not some secret weapon. If 2000

:33:37.:33:40.

people were killed by a suicide bomber we would call that a

:33:41.:33:45.

horrendous atrocities. 2000 civilians haven't been killed...

:33:46.:33:52.

Even if it was only 200. If those people have been killed by Western

:33:53.:33:55.

drones, they are not collateral damage, they are real people with

:33:56.:34:03.

real lives. I agree about that, any death of an innocent civilian is

:34:04.:34:10.

regrettable. I'm afraid Wall produces massive collateral damage

:34:11.:34:14.

and, in the past, we have seen examples of it both in wars we have

:34:15.:34:18.

fought like the Second World War or indeed the Russians' behaviour in

:34:19.:34:22.

supporting the Syrian regime in taking back Aleppo, which shows a

:34:23.:34:26.

willingness to use indiscriminate force. In comparison, the point I

:34:27.:34:32.

would make is that actually the use of drones for lethal force by the

:34:33.:34:36.

United Kingdom is much more targeted and much less likely to cause

:34:37.:34:41.

collateral damage... Do you have that trust? We are always told that

:34:42.:34:47.

of course the Russians have committed horrendous atrocities in

:34:48.:34:51.

Syria, I don't deny that for a moment, but war is always justified

:34:52.:34:54.

on the grounds that the other side have committed atrocities and we are

:34:55.:34:58.

just behaving defensively, that is how all wars throughout history have

:34:59.:35:02.

been justified. It is never believable, it always turns out

:35:03.:35:05.

there are atrocities on both sides and shortly after hundreds of years

:35:06.:35:10.

of this lie that violence can solve things it is about time we stopped

:35:11.:35:19.

believing it. I'm slightly perplexed at why we're having this debate is

:35:20.:35:26.

now regarding the usage of drones against civilian and military

:35:27.:35:29.

targets. Did we have this debate when Yugoslavia was bombed by bomber

:35:30.:35:39.

planes? When Dresden was bombed? Was there a debate in medieval times

:35:40.:35:43.

when Trevor Shays and catapults were used against fortresses with

:35:44.:35:47.

civilians inside? These kinds of tactics have been going on the

:35:48.:35:53.

centuries, as long as human warfare has been around, so I personally

:35:54.:35:58.

believe that the usage of drones in modern wars is just an inevitable

:35:59.:36:02.

consequence of humanity entering a new stage of warfare, entering a

:36:03.:36:07.

stage of unmanned vehicles, Robotics. In the long term I support

:36:08.:36:12.

the use of drones because it is safer for our troops and, yes, the

:36:13.:36:19.

enemy will also start using drones to counter us, that is the nature of

:36:20.:36:24.

warfare, one side becomes more advanced... And it keeps boots,

:36:25.:36:28.

Simon Jenkins, off the ground, as that gentleman said, good for our

:36:29.:36:35.

troops? It is a drastic extension of the sniper principle, we can take

:36:36.:36:39.

somebody out, but the question is because it is such distance, a

:36:40.:36:43.

wholly different strategic theatre enters the argument. Why are you

:36:44.:36:47.

killing that particular person? In the case of a British citizen in

:36:48.:36:51.

Syria killed because it was thought he would support terrorism, that is

:36:52.:36:56.

a tenuous way of killing someone and innocent people around him. The

:36:57.:37:01.

trouble with drones is it induces armies to behave much more

:37:02.:37:04.

irrationally than they would otherwise behave, we are operating

:37:05.:37:08.

in countries we are not at war with. Also the killing of a particular

:37:09.:37:14.

person, you will probably have to negotiate eventually and every time

:37:15.:37:20.

we assassinate these people we make it more difficult eventually... I

:37:21.:37:29.

think the drone attacks in Afghanistan have made a huge

:37:30.:37:32.

difference and disrupted Al-Qaeda as a formation and made it very

:37:33.:37:36.

difficult for them to operate. The numbers of civilians are an

:37:37.:37:42.

exaggeration. The bureau of investigative journalism, which has

:37:43.:37:45.

awards from Amnesty International so it is not pro-government, has put

:37:46.:37:49.

the numbers of civilians killed by drone strikes as about 100 last year

:37:50.:37:56.

in America compared to... There is an important legal issue here. That

:37:57.:38:01.

is a problem with warfare. I couldn't agree more with that. They

:38:02.:38:05.

league at issue here is where the flip between the laws of war and

:38:06.:38:09.

international humanitarian law and human rights law, that is when we

:38:10.:38:12.

are attacking countries we are not in official conflict with. The

:38:13.:38:18.

tipping point, the UK along with others is dire looting the notion of

:38:19.:38:22.

what is an imminent threat, what do we need in terms of our defence and

:38:23.:38:27.

quite often it is foot soldiers of Al-Qaeda loading a few rifles into a

:38:28.:38:32.

truck and they get bombed, but they are not an immediate imminent

:38:33.:38:35.

threat. An imminent threat used to be when you had a big armed force

:38:36.:38:39.

against us on our borders but now it is a few foot soldiers and that is

:38:40.:38:43.

the key issue here. But you have to bear in mind one of the problems of

:38:44.:38:47.

globalisation and the Internet is a person can sit thousands of miles

:38:48.:38:52.

from the United Kingdom actively participating in a potential

:38:53.:38:56.

conspiracy to kill people directly in the United Kingdom itself. I

:38:57.:39:01.

agree with you that this is creating grey areas and we need to think very

:39:02.:39:06.

carefully about what we do, but, as I say, the framework, actually, is

:39:07.:39:12.

there. Ultimately if the Government justified the drone strike in Iraq

:39:13.:39:17.

it was a chapter of Article 51 of the United Nations the right to self

:39:18.:39:23.

defence. International humanitarian law, yes. You are entitled under

:39:24.:39:28.

international humanitarian law to take military action in self defence

:39:29.:39:32.

against people is located in another country. Of course it is a very,

:39:33.:39:36.

very brave step to take and you are likely to have it crawled over when

:39:37.:39:45.

you have done it, which is what is happening... It is some new

:39:46.:39:51.

illegality. If Isis operatives are loading Kalashnikovs into the back

:39:52.:39:55.

of a band, getting rid of them, taking them out which is the phrase

:39:56.:40:01.

people use, is that justified? If you take the view that the entire

:40:02.:40:05.

operation of Isis constitute a threat justifying the use of force

:40:06.:40:09.

under article 51 of the UN Charter or legitimate aid of the Iraqi

:40:10.:40:14.

government in dealing with a conflict, you have a legal base for

:40:15.:40:17.

taking action against all their operatives. The fact is, these

:40:18.:40:24.

countries do not threaten Britain. One or two people in these countries

:40:25.:40:29.

might threaten to explode a bomb in Britain, yes. It is not an

:40:30.:40:32.

existential threat to Britain, this is an extension of the concept of

:40:33.:40:37.

defence into what is effectively a tax, the Ministry of Defence should

:40:38.:40:40.

pick up the Ministry of attack. It is aggression against people a long

:40:41.:40:44.

way from here who do not threaten others at all and one of the

:40:45.:40:47.

consequences of the development of these new sophisticated weapons, we

:40:48.:40:52.

cannot resist using them. We are out of time on it, but I will give you

:40:53.:40:58.

the last word, it will be on this... I want to ask you about domestic

:40:59.:41:04.

use, that was one of the things, sorry to curtail your thought, hold

:41:05.:41:07.

it for another time! More regulation? We need more regulation

:41:08.:41:13.

for the flying of these things, we have just been running a conference

:41:14.:41:17.

on the use of drones taking supplies into conflict zones and disaster

:41:18.:41:22.

areas, delivering medicines, nothing about the technology itself, but I'm

:41:23.:41:26.

very concerned about two things, one is the increasing autonomy of the

:41:27.:41:31.

systems and I'm on a campaign to stop the autonomous use of weapons

:41:32.:41:36.

because that is a no no but also the expanding use by police, not in the

:41:37.:41:40.

UK so much for surveillance, but in South Africa they are using it

:41:41.:41:43.

against striking miners to fire pepper spray, paintball is... And

:41:44.:41:50.

using it there as well to stop poachers. That is true, but this

:41:51.:41:55.

company, Desert Storm, is only selling in units of 50 and has built

:41:56.:41:59.

a new factory in Omagh and Brazil, said this is a concern about

:42:00.:42:04.

peaceful protest, what is evil protest under human rights law, it

:42:05.:42:08.

is a bit vague. We have to finish but what I have to say, when you

:42:09.:42:13.

were talking about regulations for domestic use, everybody on the front

:42:14.:42:16.

row was nodding and I have never seen that before in my life!

:42:17.:42:18.

You can join in all this morning's debates by logging

:42:19.:42:21.

on to bbc.co.uk/the big questions and following the link

:42:22.:42:23.

Or you can tweet using the hashtag #bbctbq.

:42:24.:42:27.

Tell us what you think about our last Big Question too -

:42:28.:42:30.

should the Church of England be cut down to size?

:42:31.:42:32.

And if you'd like to apply to be in the audience

:42:33.:42:35.

at a future show, you can email audiencetbq@mentorn.tv.

:42:36.:42:37.

We're in Cardiff next week, Oxford on March 26th,

:42:38.:42:39.

Since the murder in the cathedral of Thomas Becket, Archbishop

:42:40.:42:51.

of Canterbury to Henry II, this has been a place of pilgrimage

:42:52.:42:54.

A million visitors come here every year to wonder

:42:55.:42:57.

And most are happy to pay ?12 each for the privilege.

:42:58.:43:07.

But in neighbouring Surrey, the less-visited

:43:08.:43:11.

Guildford Cathedral, opened in 1961, asked for planning

:43:12.:43:13.

permission to build flats on its land in order

:43:14.:43:15.

Guildford Borough Council turned it down, so the cathedral is now

:43:16.:43:20.

The Church of England has an enormous property portfolio

:43:21.:43:26.

of 16,000 buildings to maintain, half of them Grade I

:43:27.:43:28.

But less than a million worshippers attend a Church

:43:29.:43:33.

Should the Church of England be cut down to size?

:43:34.:43:41.

Simon Jenkins, trustee of the churches conservation trust, lots of

:43:42.:43:48.

situations up and down the country like Guildford Cathedral, what would

:43:49.:43:51.

you do about it? Very few like chilled food. Cathedrals in this

:43:52.:43:55.

country are in good shape, more people going to cathedrals,

:43:56.:43:59.

worshipping in them, they are well looked after, they can raise money,

:44:00.:44:02.

cathedrals are not a major problem although gold but does have one. The

:44:03.:44:07.

problem is churches, as you said in the introduction there are probably

:44:08.:44:13.

5000 churches that are essentially empty, people may go occasionally,

:44:14.:44:16.

but they are essentially empty, in the middle of every community is a

:44:17.:44:20.

church, beautiful community buildings, built with the taxes of

:44:21.:44:25.

the public. They have got to be somehow return to the public, we

:44:26.:44:28.

have to get them back into use. They cannot be demolished, it is wrong,

:44:29.:44:36.

they are ours. These building should not be sitting largely empty in the

:44:37.:44:40.

middle of these communities without the community using them to the

:44:41.:44:46.

fore. You are not looking happy. Can I tell you what we do in our church?

:44:47.:44:50.

These churches were built on the back of serfdom, we want them back!

:44:51.:45:00.

I think you have them back, let me explain! One of the joys of the

:45:01.:45:03.

Church of England for me and the thing that attracted me to the

:45:04.:45:09.

Church of England, 16,000 church buildings, in every community, gives

:45:10.:45:12.

the Church of England are present in a brick community and you are saying

:45:13.:45:17.

should it be cut back to size? Obviously I will say no and let me

:45:18.:45:21.

explain why I am going to say no. Each building in each community

:45:22.:45:27.

represents a group of people who worship in that building and who are

:45:28.:45:31.

led by people like me with a collar on and lots of lay people. But some

:45:32.:45:37.

of the congregations could fit into a telephone box! They may be small

:45:38.:45:41.

but what they can do, one of our churches the congregation is not

:45:42.:45:46.

huge, between 20 to 30 people will gather and worship on a Sunday

:45:47.:45:51.

morning, but let me tell you, the fact that we worship and we are

:45:52.:45:55.

people of faith is only one side of the coin. The other side of the coin

:45:56.:45:59.

is, how are we going to live our lives and how will that affect the

:46:00.:46:04.

people around us? We opened a community hub about three years ago,

:46:05.:46:09.

people if they are feeling isolated or lonely can come in. We opened a

:46:10.:46:13.

credit union so that people who don't have access to a bank account

:46:14.:46:18.

could have access to savings... Simon, what about the homeless

:46:19.:46:22.

situation, a quarter of a million people in England are homeless and

:46:23.:46:25.

their Iraqis empty buildings, who would agree with what Leslie says,

:46:26.:46:28.

the broader Some churches do great things to

:46:29.:46:41.

open their buildings to the community. The reality is, though,

:46:42.:46:47.

churches have got bogged down with buildings. As a Christian, I am

:46:48.:46:52.

aware people who have been on church committees Woolnough you get your

:46:53.:46:56.

energy sapped into thinking about heating, plumbing, it goes into

:46:57.:47:03.

building is often not used. A study found 75% of Islington church

:47:04.:47:07.

meeting rooms were not used in the week. And when I open the new

:47:08.:47:15.

Testament as a Christian, I do not find Jesus telling his followers to

:47:16.:47:19.

set up a branch of the National Trust to maintain buildings.

:47:20.:47:28.

Here is the question, bricks and mortar, churches, what would Jesus

:47:29.:47:31.

do about them? I would not like to be arrogant to

:47:32.:47:36.

speak the very words of Jesus. When I looked at Jesus in the new

:47:37.:47:40.

Testament, he says that all about religious buildings. His comments

:47:41.:47:45.

were pretty negative. The gospel is about getting stuck into the

:47:46.:47:50.

community as churches are, I am not saying don't have buildings, but not

:47:51.:47:55.

for the sake of it. Use them while get rid of them. Meet someone else.

:47:56.:48:01.

Put the energy into engaging in the world, giving an example of

:48:02.:48:06.

promotion of equality and peace. They are essentially places of

:48:07.:48:11.

worship. In Canterbury diocese, over 90% of the parish churches are

:48:12.:48:18.

listed buildings. You can't just threw away a listed building. I go

:48:19.:48:23.

back to the point that we are communities of worship and prayer.

:48:24.:48:31.

That drives... Are they sacred places? There are

:48:32.:48:34.

people who would see them as sacred. I am a volunteer chaplain.

:48:35.:48:43.

They are sacred places. We are in danger of idolising buildings.

:48:44.:48:47.

We are not worshipping buildings here.

:48:48.:48:51.

I am not suggesting you are. There is a slope towards that. Some of the

:48:52.:48:57.

most powerful worship has been in great buildings, others have been

:48:58.:49:02.

outdoors, for example, in acts of protest, blocking and entrance to

:49:03.:49:08.

the London arms prayer by praying. That was a sacred space.

:49:09.:49:19.

So many of you are not being paid but you are concentrating on

:49:20.:49:22.

antennae these buildings. Timothy? There is a lesson to be

:49:23.:49:26.

learned from the National Trust, I will come to that. You were asking

:49:27.:49:32.

about downsizing. I do not think as a conservationist there need be a

:49:33.:49:36.

problem with money. One of the main problems we have is too much money.

:49:37.:49:42.

I can think of a case of a central London church where the vehicle was

:49:43.:49:47.

in the middle of raising ?3 million in order to change the interior, a

:49:48.:49:53.

fine early 1950s interior, and the no particular reason. If you look at

:49:54.:49:58.

the church is associated with holy Trinity Brompton, you will find an

:49:59.:50:03.

enormous waste of resources put into what I would call essentially

:50:04.:50:08.

vandalising Victorian buildings. That is a popular church.

:50:09.:50:16.

Throbbing. That is right. The parish church in

:50:17.:50:20.

the area where I grew up in Hammersmith has been competitively

:50:21.:50:26.

shafted by the changes put into it. Let me pick up something Simon said

:50:27.:50:32.

he clearly which is about buildings. The evangelical wing of the Church

:50:33.:50:36.

of England has an obsession about buildings and destroying them. Go

:50:37.:50:41.

back to the English Civil War, they were pushing their pack stuff

:50:42.:50:45.

through stained glass windows so we could not enjoy them.

:50:46.:50:48.

In a way they are still at it. They are absolutely still at it. You

:50:49.:50:53.

may laugh. Let me give you an example. There is

:50:54.:50:58.

a manual, a best selling authoritative manual for the

:50:59.:51:04.

evangelical wing of the Church of England calls re-pitching a tent,

:51:05.:51:09.

from 20 years ago. It includes in it an illustration of a happy

:51:10.:51:14.

combination smashing up a Gothic church and moving into a plain ugly

:51:15.:51:19.

building on the outskirts precisely for the benefit of the community.

:51:20.:51:24.

Because it's not about bricks and mortar.

:51:25.:51:28.

Simon Jenkins? There is no problem with popular churches or the

:51:29.:51:32.

wonderful work that people like you do, some of the most dedicated

:51:33.:51:37.

people I have come across. Best practice is not the issue. Most of

:51:38.:51:43.

Church of England churches are severely underused. It is no good

:51:44.:51:47.

saying they are open to all. Most people say why do you use the

:51:48.:51:52.

church? It is not for me. It is for a small section of practising

:51:53.:51:59.

Anglicans. The biggest buildings in most of these committees is a

:52:00.:52:04.

church. It caters for a tiny group in that community. It is in the

:52:05.:52:08.

interest of the church for the community to recapture these places

:52:09.:52:12.

and use them more widely. Audience, does anyone want to say

:52:13.:52:20.

something? The gentleman here. I am not a Christian. This small

:52:21.:52:28.

church, there were booked a few hundred years ago. In those days, a

:52:29.:52:31.

lot of people didn't have cars to travel. Now, a lot of people have

:52:32.:52:38.

cars, it is easier to travel. Would it not be better to have a church,

:52:39.:52:45.

instead of every church having 20 parishioners, have a bigger church

:52:46.:52:51.

somewhere where they can all go? An American evangelical mega-

:52:52.:52:55.

church? Cathedrals.

:52:56.:53:00.

Good morning, a colourful top. Good morning. It is not about the

:53:01.:53:09.

buildings but the communities. I come from rural Devon originally and

:53:10.:53:13.

there are a lot of places where churches are pretty much the only

:53:14.:53:18.

community building left, the post of this goes, the postbox can even go.

:53:19.:53:32.

Community cohesion. Sometimes people will say, look at

:53:33.:53:37.

Kent, you have lots of churches, rural churches in hamlets or small

:53:38.:53:42.

villages. If you were to think they have already lost the pub, the

:53:43.:53:47.

shops, public transport isn't great. It is still the church that is

:53:48.:53:53.

there. It holds a place, not the building...

:53:54.:53:55.

But if you flog the churches you could do more for charity.

:53:56.:54:02.

A few years ago there was a lot of flooding on the Somerset levels, the

:54:03.:54:05.

church buildings and the congregations and their volunteers,

:54:06.:54:09.

that was a brilliant example of church communities coming into their

:54:10.:54:14.

own. Let us not get hung up on the building which is a place to worship

:54:15.:54:18.

coming you can get married, have a funeral, your baptism.

:54:19.:54:23.

Can you get married in there if you are gay.

:54:24.:54:27.

Well... Not at the moment. I am glad I would be welcome at

:54:28.:54:33.

church but it is simply not true there is a church that welcomes

:54:34.:54:38.

everybody in every community. Because of that point?

:54:39.:54:42.

Some churches would welcome me because of my sexuality. If you are

:54:43.:54:46.

a wheelchair user, in defiance of the law of the country, you cannot

:54:47.:54:49.

get in. Churches should be pioneering

:54:50.:54:54.

equality but in many places they are actually less equal than the society

:54:55.:55:00.

around them. Let me ask a question.

:55:01.:55:04.

Who owns these churches? The people own the churches. Our

:55:05.:55:09.

ancestors built them with their extorted taxes and hardship.

:55:10.:55:14.

These churches, especially the great cathedrals, not just religious

:55:15.:55:20.

statements but about power, control. Keeping the peasantry down.

:55:21.:55:27.

Beckett died because he was trying to ensure his version of Sharia law,

:55:28.:55:35.

the church courts. Yet he was made a saint. They are community buildings

:55:36.:55:39.

that belonged to the descendants of the people who paid for them. They

:55:40.:55:44.

could be made more use of, you can get married there, and they have the

:55:45.:55:51.

huge weight of community history in them not just for revision but the

:55:52.:55:55.

getting married and buried. We should open them up. The Church of

:55:56.:55:59.

England has shown itself not fit to look after these great treasures.

:56:00.:56:06.

In areas where there is less of a church of England engagement but

:56:07.:56:11.

more of a Muslim or Hindu engagement, Bradford for example,

:56:12.:56:15.

turn them into mosques? I say let people use them including

:56:16.:56:20.

the Church of England. Other religions as well. Community

:56:21.:56:24.

centres, as well as religion. Dominic Grieve, they were

:56:25.:56:31.

architectural jurors looking on the peasantry, it was about shock and

:56:32.:56:35.

awe. It is ethical and political power.

:56:36.:56:40.

There was an element of that, and religious devotion. A large number

:56:41.:56:45.

were built through ridges devotion and money voluntarily given. There

:56:46.:56:50.

is a mixture. Toovey characterised the entirety of the piety of the

:56:51.:56:55.

middle ages as being state imposed on the peasantry is a little far

:56:56.:57:00.

from reality. There was a great mixture but it was a time when the

:57:01.:57:04.

leadership of the churches had sold out to wealth and power.

:57:05.:57:09.

Had gone against Jesus's article message. Through historical anomaly

:57:10.:57:17.

we have these cathedrals largely tourist attractions, things like

:57:18.:57:21.

church has conference Centre hosting every year a military conference

:57:22.:57:24.

sponsored by arms companies to fund the church. With these buildings

:57:25.:57:29.

now, we are stuck with them and it is making it harder...

:57:30.:57:35.

As an early modern historian I take issue with the fact religion wasn't

:57:36.:57:42.

necessarily not connected to the state. The state had a great deal of

:57:43.:57:46.

laws imposing on people to force them to be religious. The penalties

:57:47.:57:52.

in the medieval period if you want part of that church community and

:57:53.:57:57.

weren't conforming, it was political control. I point again is, if you

:57:58.:58:05.

look at the churches built, can I say the word, before the

:58:06.:58:08.

Reformation, you have a different ownership. They belonged to the

:58:09.:58:13.

Roman Catholic Church. This may be a get out clause. Churches bought

:58:14.:58:17.

before the Reformation could be handed back.

:58:18.:58:23.

15 seconds. It is what we do in the future not the past. In the future,

:58:24.:58:28.

you sound welcoming, the fact is churches are not welcoming places.

:58:29.:58:32.

But more and more. On that point of contention we had

:58:33.:58:35.

to leave it. As always, the debates will continue

:58:36.:58:36.

online and on Twitter. Next week we're in Cardiff,

:58:37.:58:39.

so do join us then. But for now, it's goodbye from

:58:40.:58:41.

Canterbury, and have a great Sunday. It was the most beautiful view

:58:42.:58:46.

I've ever been through. For one second, I was swimming on my

:58:47.:59:09.

back, and I was looking to the sky. I was swimming across

:59:10.:59:15.

the Aegean Sea. I was a refugee,

:59:16.:59:21.

going from Syria to Germany.

:59:22.:59:25.

Nicky Campbell presents live debate from the University of Kent in Canterbury. He asks: Do the brightest do better at grammar schools? Is using drones ethical? And should the Church of England be cut down to size?