16 May 2007

No More Academic Selection?

David Willetts, Shadow Education Secretary"A Conservative agenda for education will not be about just helping a minority of pupils escape a bad education. We want better schools for all, based on fair admission and fair funding."

Fair enough, David Willetts, but does that really mean there is no place for academic selection?



James said...

I think there are two key statements in the announcement. Firstly, "where grammar schools exist there will be no changes" - so, "no going back" doesn't mean further destruction of what were the best schools this country has known. Secondly, "streaming and setting should play a key part in improving social opportunities for children" - so, the academically gifted, who currently suffer as NuLab targets force teachers to focus their efforts disproportionately on those at the bottom of the spectrum, should get the support and encouragement that they need. I just hope for all our sakes, not least those of my children, the Conservatives really can succeed in delivering us "self-governing, independent state schools."

Kent mother of two said...

What's all the fuss about? The local news is saying activists are up in arms, but Willetts has been perfectly clear:

"For those children from modest backgrounds who do get to grammar schools the benefits are enormous." - i.e. he believes selection makes a valuable contribution to education.

"And we will not get rid of those grammar schools that remain." - i.e. those of us in Kent that hope to get our children into the local grammar in a couple of years time will still be able to.

"But the trouble is that the chances of a child from a poor background getting to a grammar school in those parts of the country where they do survive are shockingly low." - i.e. we are the "one nation" party and the party of compassion and we believe all schools should provide every pupil with the opportunity to reach their potential.

Sounds good to me!