• Owen Edwards

It’s time to build the British Dream

We’ve all heard of the American Dream. Well, that’s great for them over the pond but it’s time we started to think about a new vision. We won’t get anywhere in the world if we keep obsessing over how the election of this person or that person will make or break the American Dream. Let’s start talking about the British Dream.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything it’s that we are lacking in serious opportunities for our young people. Our education is and has been for years, broken, our social mobility policy doesn’t work and our workforce is probably the most undertrained, unprepared in the word. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

There are many things that can be done to address the lack of an opportunity society.

First, we need to fix education and we need to do it fast. The curriculum teaches how to pass exams and forget. It doesn’t provide the key knowledge and skills for the workforce. Our teachers lack the power to control a classroom and are shackled down by league tables. Our schools learn months in advance of inspections, giving the unprepared time to temporarily fix their mess.

Education is the bedrock of society. So how do we fix it? Well, it’s quite simple really. Free schools, free schools and more free schools. Michaela Community School in London is probably the best school in Britain, achieving miraculous grades, exceptional discipline and a curriculum that actually benefits the pupils. Headmistress Katharine Birbalsingh has taken the liberal, woke curriculum out of the classroom and is teaching children what they really need to know. If we can find a way to replicate her revolutionary approach, we’d win the battle for social mobility.

School inspections are flawed beyond compare. By telling failing schools you’re coming, months in advance, they won’t look like failing schools on the day and then they can go back to being rubbish. The solution? Random inspections so schools have no choice but to uphold the expected standards, improving the quality of education across the nation.

Secondly, we need to stop telling people that because of their social group, they are destined to fail. A recent article written by Conservative MP Bim Afolami highlighted this very issue. He spoke of how the liberal view is that black People belong in inner cities and are hostile to those who don’t conform. This has to stop. The “well-meaning liberal” is the real reason why there is inequality in our nation. We need to build a colourblind society where your future is determined by you and you alone. Rather than being a dependent nation, we should learn to be self-reliant. We need to prove that no matter your age, gender, sexuality or the colour of your skin, you can succeed if you take responsibility for your successes.

Thirdly is the failure to spread opportunity equally. Talent is not found in any specific area or among a certain group of people. It’s everywhere. But when you look at how some of the best schools are generally focused on cities rather than rural and coastal communities, you realise that the establishment doesn’t get it. It’s time for a new approach where we bring free schools, academies, technical colleges and vocational training to all regions, to every town in every region. By spreading world-leading educational opportunities equally, the British Dream can become a reality because it will not matter where you are in this country.

And finally is the economy. We may achieve a well educated, intelligent workforce of the future but if the economy isn’t creating jobs, there’s no point. We need to be bold enough to take our economy and revolutionise. Innovation can drive the prosperity needed. Economic Freedom Zones can turbocharge growth in deprived areas. The new green industrial revolution can create millions of jobs and apprenticeships in the green economy of the energy future, providing endless opportunities for this newly educated workforce.

The British Dream can be achieved if we have the courage to take action. By fixing education, ending the non-positive positive discrimination, spreading opportunities and reviving our economy we can make the UK a world leader in education and the new home of the dreams of the world.

Owen Edwards

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