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Reprieve for Grammar Schools Welcomed by Parents

9 September 2016 914 views One Comment

9th September 2016
Theresa May will set aside decades of cross-party consensus in education policy by ending the ban on the creation of new grammar schools and attempt to head off critics by proposing measures intended to prevent poorer children losing out.
Change in rule permits established schools to become grammars, new Catholic schools to open and faith schools to choose pupils based on religion
The prime minister will end days of speculation by confirming that her government will reverse the “arbitrary” ban on the creation of new grammar schools that has been in place since 1998
The education secretary has revealed that the government is considering lifting its ban on selective grammar schools
Speaking in London, May will say: “For too long we have tolerated a system that contains an arbitrary rule preventing selective schools from being established – sacrificing children’s potential because of dogma and ideology. The truth is that we already have selection in our school system – and it’s selection by house price, selection by wealth. That is simply unfair.”
She will confirm that new selective schools will be allowed to open and that existing schools will be able to become grammars. “This is about being unapologetic for our belief in social mobility and making this country a true meritocracy – a country that works for everyone,” she will say.
As well as expanding selection by academic ability, May is also expected to signal that new faith schools will be able to choose more pupils on the basis of their religion, ending the admissions cap, which was aimed at preventing children from being segregated by faith, another measure likely to prove
New free schools, which are state funded, are only allowed to select half of their pupils on faith grounds, under the rule, which will now be lifted.
The Catholic church lobbied for the rule to be changed but, as recently as last September, the Department for Education said it had no intention of rewriting the rules.
May’s move to expand grammar schools is likely to prove controversial with the Conservative modernisers she banished to the backbenchers, as well as teaching unions and education campaigners.
Theresa May has said selective schools could make the education system more inclusive. What do the experts think?
May, will promise to consult on ways to mitigate the risk that poor children – who tend to be under-represented in existing grammars – are relegated to sink schools as selection is expanded. Options in a paper expected to be published on Monday will include: forcing new selective schools to take a minimum proportion of pupils from lower income households requiring them to establish a new non-selective free school, or a primary feeder school in an area with a high density of lower income households requiring them to sponsor an existing underperforming, non-selective academy school.
The plans will form part of a wider package of education reforms, including a bid to narrow the gap between universities and the schools system.
Universities that want to raise tuition fees for students will be obliged to make their expertise available to younger learners, by setting up a new school or take over an existing, failing school, for example.
May’s speech comes after the comprehensive-schooled education secretary, Justine Greening, was called to the House of Commons on Thursday to explain reports that May had told backbench Tory MPs about her plans at a private meeting of the Conservative 1922 Committee on Wednesday night.
Greening said: “There will be no return to the simplistic, binary choice of the past, where schools separate children into winners and losers, successes or failures. This government wants to focus on the future.”
As a parents group who had to sit through the endless consultations and debate to abolish grammar schools this is a day of great joy and hope. Hope that we finally have a PM who is listening to parents wishes
Margaret Morrissey Parentsoutloud says
We have to stop dumbing down our education system with the excuse “poor families will be disenfranchised” nonsense what 45 years as a parent 40 years of PTA’s 10 years of Ofsted has taught me, is this, the “poor ” parents so labelled those who did not have a great education want better for their children . They are keen supportive and proud to see and support their children in succeeding. It is not rich children who go to Grammar schools it is clever children. When our nation accepts not all children are as clever as each other regardless of social standing or background we will begin to achieve a balance education for all children. I went to secondary modern I would have been very unhappy in a grammar school which was above my ability. I had a good education fitted to my ability and we should stop penalising children for being clever and celebrate them whilst giving others a good education to match their needs.
At last someone is actually listening to parent M Wiltshire is bang out of order spouting left wing labour line move him on

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One Comment »

  • R Waring said:

    By some parents, not necessarily all, surely?!

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