The education committee which includes education experts met this month to review the Governments proposal to expand the number of grammar school places in England and to review the evidence for their effectiveness in achieving the governments objectives which in this case are to obtain greater social mobility. I have written on this subject previously infact so if you’re unfamiliar with the proposal then you can gen up here.
The committee concluded that the historic and current grammar schools don’t achieve this objective. Indeed the committee raised the other major issues of the grammar school scheme which includes all the good resources will go to the grammar schools meaning the schools for the kids who really need the help, and indeed who could move up the social scale, will be under resourced and of course the kids who can afford a tutor will always have an advantage in the entrance exam.
You can read the full report for yourself here. To be fair the experts quite literally tore the proposal to bits. The evidence is quite clear that Grammar Schools are good for one portion of society only, a portion in which my children now sit and yet I still have my doubts about them because I can’t believe that they’ll help to make life better for the kids who don’t get in. The government haven’t yet provided any evidence that their proposal will increase social mobility. The ministers response to all the issues brought up was “yes, the grammar schools will have to work in conjunction with local schools to make sure that doesn’t happen.” Already setting up your patsy. Nice! One can only assume that at some point in the future the failure of local comprehensives is going to be laid at the feet of children insisting on turning up at them every day.
I’m sure that these schools will go ahead, and of course they will be successful, or at least that’s what we’ll be told, but I still question the motivation for putting Grammar schools on the table in the first place.
It’s not in the manifesto and it’s a post Brexit policy.
I heard recently a snippet of information that made me stop and think. The main difference between the Conservative party and UKIP was membership of the EU and Grammar Schools. Now that we’re leaving the EU the only major difference was Grammar Schools, until Theresa May put them back on the Conservative agenda. Is this move about improving education or is it about stopping UKIP? Apparently the Conservative defectors are now flocking back to the party in droves.
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SARAH CANTRILL is a woman on a mission to inspire every young child to become a reader for pleasure. She is the Artistic Director & Founder of STORY STORKS, a social enterprise that delivers interactive story workshops to early years children and their grown ups, that help kids to fall in love with stories and develop their early language skills meaning that they have an easier time of learning to read when the time is right. Infact 85% of the kids who come through STORY STORKS are right where they should be or ahead in terms of progression through the reading book scheme once they get to school and the ones who are behind are trying hard because they know that it’s worth it – that to read is to unlock a whole world of fun and adventure and learning and imagination and they might take a bit longer to get there but they’re determined that get there they will.