John Bolt of the SEA writes:
Teresa May’s decision to re-open the issue of grammar schools – and secondary moderns - has trained a spotlight directly on the entire issue of selection. It is not however going the way she expected. The intellectual and political case for selection has collapsed.
In today’s world, we need to give all our children, particularly those from the poorest families, every opportunity to succeed. If it is agreed that extending selection damages both social cohesion and children’s learning, there can surely be no case either for accepting its continuation anywhere in the country.
It is time therefore to challenge the long held position within successive Labour leaderships that nothing should be done about those selective areas and schools that still exist.
A contemporary resolution submitted by the SEA and a number of constituency parties to this effect has been accepted by Labour’s Conference Arrangements Committee. The motion reads:
It now goes to a ballot of conference delegates to decide whether it will be debated. This takes place on Sunday. It is therefore really important to encourage as many conference delegates as possible to support it in that ballot.
This is the first opportunity for a long time to make the argument against all selection heard. There is a broad coalition emerging against the government plans and this is an opportunity to shift Labour policy towards a principled opposition to grammar schools both old and new.