I have served as a teacher and Headteacher in great Comprehensive Schools in East London, Merseyside, North East Lancashire, the Midlands, North East and Yorkshire for over 35 years. I am now a lead National Challenge Adviser for the West Midlands and a SIP. I have international experience and have served on several NGOs. I have loved working in some of the most 'challenging' areas and wouldn't hesitate to recommend teaching in the state sector to any young person.
Nothing in all these years has changed my mind about the value and importance of local secular comprehensive schools for local people. How we unpick a system that is rife with hidden and overt selection, religious interference and political manipulation is the real challenge.
I am convinced that however difficult people's circumstances are, their ambition is always that their child should have the opportunity to have an excellent education in a caring, fun environment, so that their life chances can be improved. Selection is divisive, unfair to families of modest means and perpetuates our damaging class system.
I fully endorse the sentiments expressed today by Fiona Millar and Andy Burnham and fear for the future of some of our most vulnerable families and their children, if the comprehensive system is further undermined by the current Government.