The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

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And why should children that have been born since May 1997 be prevented from fulfilling their potential in life by outdated 60s educational ideology being followed by the ‘heirs of Crossland’?


20 September, 2008 - Posted by | education, politics |


  1. Gets my vote.

    Comment by Man in a Shed | 20 September, 2008 | Reply

  2. Given the serious international financial crisis, I am today amazed to find out from a teacher, that students are not aquainted with real commercial mathematics. Surely on leaving school they need to know about, wages, income tax, savings, borrowing dangers, debt, mortgages and above all have a working knowledge of compound interest. A school leaver ignorant of these facts of life will very easily get into serious trouble.
    Yes we want another 250 Grammar Schools in the UK, make sure
    ‘commercial’ maths is part of the curiculum.

    Comment by DAVID VINTER | 20 September, 2008 | Reply

  3. Happy Ramadan to everybody. Why this web site do not have other languages support?

    Comment by ingiltere dil okulu | 29 September, 2008 | Reply

  4. A discerning critique balanced with practical suggestions. Why no mention of grammar schools and social mobility from the Etonian Tory leader, David Cameron at his Party Conference this week? Perhaps if the wound from last year’s Conference were reopened the pus and infection resulting from his diktat decision on grammars would poison his “Blair-lite” plan.
    Thousands of new schools without selection – has the man gone mad?

    Comment by paceni | 30 September, 2008 | Reply

  5. Good point, PACENI.

    Academic selection should be allowed in these new schools. It is not elitist, as some people claim. After all, isn’t it more elitist to have selection based on ability to pay? This is what has happened in England, where if you can pay you can send your kid to an independent school – if not, you have to take what is on offer.

    So much for democracy. I’m amazed the Tories don’t see that grammar schools enable social mobility. They certainly did for me.

    Comment by WR | 6 October, 2008 | Reply

  6. Nice to have you as an ally, after all we select for almost everything else in life [within our income]. We select children for football, cricket, swimmimg, art, music etc what is it that so scares the selection for brains? After all we all benefit eventually. Fortunately our local education authority [Lincs] still has about 20 local grammars, and we are very proud of them, ours has been going since 1552, DWV.

    Comment by DAVID VINTER | 3 February, 2009 | Reply

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