A few days ago the BBC aired "Start Your Own School", a documentary following the fortunes of author Toby Young who, with similar minded parents, is attempting to set up a "Free School" in West London.

Young, who wrote "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People" (which was later turned into a film starring Simon Pegg), has four young children who have yet to reach secondary school age. His motivation to start his own school comes from his desire not to send his children to the local comprehensive.

He himself attended a comprehensive school and admitted that his own results were far from dazzling. He later attended a grammar school which he said pushed him hard and unlike the comprehensive did not "allow him to give up".

Indeed the comprehensive system has been accused of failing not just Toby Young but society in general. A report by Alan Milburn, the "social mobility Tsar", earlier this year found that social mobility had steadily worsened in the last few decades.

Some have blamed this on the near total abolition of the grammar school system by Labour Education Secretary Anthony Crosland in the 1960's. The effects of this abolition can be seen in the make up of today's political class, it is argued.

While the 1980's and 1990's were dominated by grammar school products like Margaret Thatcher, Norman Tebbit, Denis Healey and Gordon Brown, today's post-Crosland generation is dominated by private school beneficiaries, Cameron, Osborne, Clegg, Balls and Harman, to name a few.

Toby Young points out the three ways that "pushy-middle class parents" usually use to avoid sending their children to some of the more failure-prone comprehensives: moving to good catchment area with high house prices to enter one of the few good comprehensives, going private or suddenly becoming very religious and getting your child into good faith school; all but one of which are unavailable to the poor.

In another recent documentary on the state of the British education system, famed atheist Richard Dawkins pointed out the semi-corrupt way in which non-religious people suddenly start going to church in order to avoid comprehensive education for their children.

This was one of the few good points that Dawkins actually made in the programme, Faith Schools Menace?, which was otherwise a shameless attack and caricature of one of the few parts of the British education system that actually works.

Young refused to follow any of these three options and instead resolved with his fellow middle class parents to set up their own school that would not only be better than the local comprehensive but would be open to all in the local area, regardless of ability or background.

Despite this the local teaching unions have accused it of being a project that will benefit only the middle classes and do nothing for the less well off, an accusation Young counters by pointing out that their own attachment to comprehensives has done nothing for social mobility and may have even made it worse in the last 45 years.

Another of Young's concerns about the state education system, indeed it seems his primary concern, is that it has become a system not for educating children but for indoctrinating them to follow the ideology of the secular ideology of the state with all of its "isms".

During a meeting between Young and a group of comprehensive school teachers one teacher made the odd statement that she was concerned his school's ethos and vision would not be "representative of Acton", as though the purpose of a school is not to educate but to be a tool of multiculturalism.

Here Young foolishly said that he wanted his school to be free of ideology, when what he surely should have admitted was that he wanted a school with a different ideology to that of the state, namely one that values rigour and classicism rather than multiculturalism, equality and diversity and value-free sex education.

Even Dawkins has said that he is open to the idea of setting up an atheist or "free thinking" school, with its own ethos, in order to counter the huge number of faith schools in Britain.

What makes the "Free School" movement so interesting, and I suspect also so evil in the sight of the teaching unions, is that it could potentially open up genuine diversity of thought as well as diversity of such mundane things as race, religion and gender etc.

This perhaps is why the National Union of Teachers, whose representative on the programme had an office complete with red banners and posters for the Trotskyite Socialist Workers Party, is so against the idea. Perhaps Free Schools are a threat to the ideological stranglehold that the left holds in state schools.

Either way the Free Schools movement, whether it is a success or a failure, is hardly likely to do worse than the current system which is failing so many children year after year.