An interesting , and worrying, amendment
has just been tabled to the Education Bill now working its way through Parliament. Graham Brady, the passionate pro selection Tory MP wants all independent schools that opt into the state sector as academies/free schools to be able to retain their right to continue selection by ability. We know that the Conservative Party is terminally conflicted on this particular subject. Many MPs would like to return to the old grammar/secondary modern divide. HE minister David Willetts
was removed from his opposition front bench education post for suggesting that grammar schools actually entrenched disadvantage rather than aided social mobility, and the present Secretary of State's foot
is still presumably hovering over the pedal.
Maybe we should be grateful for the opportunity to flush them out on this issue. If the amendment is defeated, it will prove that the Willetts line has prevailed, but also beg the question of why, if selective schools are now seen as unfair and discriminatory, they are still permitted to exist in a quarter of all English local authority areas ( there are no grammar schools in Scotland or Wales and NI is in the process of phasing out its 'transfer test'). What we need now is an opposition amendment calling for an end to the use of the 11 plus. See here
for an explanation of how this could be done, with minimal disruption to existing schools. To support an end to selection, please sign up to Comprehensive Future