When the going gets tough for school admissions in England, the tough get going.

VVujkxyz W's picture
Nick Clegg wants to give everyone a fair chance of success when he launches the government strategy on social mobility. A pupil premium will increase fairness of opportunity for disadvantaged children, there will be an extension of free nursery places for two-year-olds and internships will be more accessible to the disadvantaged.

However, he makes no reference to the pre-existing pupil premium that already helps children from well-off families, selection by 11+. Selection segregates children from poorer backgrounds and gaps in attainment open up too early, giving richer families the advantage from coaching, which helps their children do well.

While free nursery places might help in the short term they will only delay the inevitable, come middle childhood up to 50% of children in selective counties will be labelled as failures. Alternative 11-16 secondary schools will try to meet the needs of rejected academic pupils but I doubt there will be much discussion on internships or Russell Group university places, teachers will be too busy trying to convince students that there is an incentive post-16.

So come on Mr. Clegg, I would have thought debate on the Education Bill would have included fairer school admissions.

The silence is deafening.
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Fiona Millar's picture
Tue, 05/04/2011 - 10:53

Also extraordinary that the Bill Committee discussed the clause relating to admissions without the new draft Code being available. Hard to see how that could have stimulated an informed debate.

Rosemary Mann's picture
Tue, 05/04/2011 - 12:46

Slightly off topic, but I'm interested in what you said about increasing free nursery provision for two year olds- I can't locate this info anywhere- can you advise further? It would make all the difference to our family finances ( and loads of others!) thanks

Fiona Millar's picture
Tue, 05/04/2011 - 16:45

I think the information about more nursery provision for two years olds was first flagged up in the Education White Paper, published last autumn and now re-stated in the Social Mobility strategy. I think these new places will only be for children from disadvantaged homes, although how that disadvantage will be assessed isn't clear, nor is the source of the funding for them. I suspect it may mean fewer full time places for older children, which won't necessarily help working families.

Francis Gilbert's picture
Tue, 05/04/2011 - 16:56

I share your concerns Billy. We need to end the social segregation in our schools.

Julian Springer's picture
Tue, 05/04/2011 - 17:21

coaching you have to be kidding me! cry me a river!


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