‘SELECTION belongs in the dustbin of history and has no place in modern society. There must be no going back,’ Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said yesterday.
She was responding to reports that Tory PM May is planning to lift the ban on creating new grammar schools in England, which was legislated in 1998. Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron also opposed the plan, saying: ‘Lib Dems will work to block any Tory attempt to create grammar schools.’
Education trade unionists told News Line that they would fight the Tory plan.
Julie Davies, Branch Secretary Haringey NUT (National Union of Teachers), said: ‘Grammar schools cater for children who at the age of 11 are in the top 20%.
‘Any teacher knows that children develop at different rates and 80% of children are sentenced to a poorer education in secondary modern schools. Only 0.3% of students from poor families get two A levels or more in grammar schools, so it’s not an instrument of social mobility.
‘Any authority considering expansion of selection has a legal duty to conduct an equalities impact assessment. Grammar school projects would not survive rigorous analysis on this basis, they are deeply unfair. Our education system is the most divided in Europe, the Tories have gone mad.
‘NUT policy is for the most equal education system that can be provided by the state. The union has the position of opposition and we would resist grammar school expansion.’
Hank Roberts Brent Secretary and National Executive member ATL (Association of Teachers and Lecturers), said: ‘It is of course an educational nonsense. Selection at 11 and having separate schools for children who are supposedly selected as bright at 11 and a separate school for those probably termed as “thick” leads to a worse overall result for all.
‘It penalises in particular those children who are late developers and of course it helps with the separation and segregation of academic schooling and vocational schooling, which has been to the detriment of our country’s workforce and production. That said, this is just a stunt to placate backward and hardcore Tories.
‘The real agenda is the academy privatisation of state education, which no doubt May will push to proceed apace. Teachers and parents have to unite and put up much more of a fight to save state education and that process must proceed urgently in ernest, now.’