Time for more grammar schools
I am going to apply some logic to the controversial issue of grammar schools. First, we know that academic selection is beneficial to driving up educational standards – as Graham Brady MP bravely highlighted in his constituency, Altrincham and Sale, which has grammar schools.
The Conservatives, under pressure from Mr Dominic Grieve QC, a Buckinghamshire MP who has grammar schools in his constituency, acknowledged that where there was increasing demand, new grammar schools should be build.
We learn from today’s Telegraph that
The number of pupils entered for the 11-plus – the grammar school entrance test – has soared to a record high this year, figures show.
As the first children in England sat the exam this week, it was disclosed that entries in one county jumped by a fifth compared to 2007.
It follows the disclosure that independent school fees have increased by more than 40 per cent in the last six years alone, sparking claims that many families can no longer afford an independent education.
According to the Good Schools Guide, many of the most popular grammar schools – particularly those in outer London – have had 10 applications for every place.
Robert McCartney, chairman of the National Grammar Schools’ Association, said: “The on-going deterioration of the comprehensive system in England is forcing more and more parents to opt for alternative forms of education.”
The twin factors of rising independent school fees and the deterioration of comprehensive education – not to mention the impact of the credit crunch – means that we should open new grammar schools.
I hope that the former public schoolboys on the Conservative Frontbench realise that Labour (such as ex public schoolboy Ed Balls) is denying ordinary kids the educational opportunities they deserve. It is, therefore, vital that the Tories pledge to create new grammar schools to meet this soaring demand and to offset the educational apartheid that is the legacy of 11 years of New Labour misrule.
And why should children that have been born since May 1997 be prevented from fulfilling their potential in life by outdated 60s educational ideology being followed by the ‘heirs of Crossland’?
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