‘They don’t work’: Experts slam Liz Truss’ high school plan | Grammar schools

Academics, education unions and politicians of all colors have attacked the government’s plans for more grammar schools, warning that selection does not improve social mobility and will not solve the challenges facing schools in the next decade.

It follows the confirmation of the new Education Secretary, Malting kitthat the Prime Minister has instructed him to consider areas of England which would like to open new grammar schools, as well as those which wish to extend existing grammars.

In an interview with the Yorkshire Post During a visit to the university this week, Malthouse said: ‘The Premier made it clear during the leadership race that she wanted to see work on high schools, basically because parents in some parts of the countries wish to have them.

“We are talking about parental choice, everyone should be able to make a choice for their children. So we are looking at this policy seriously and looking at areas that want to have it or even high schools that want to expand.

Liz Trusswho sent his daughters to high school, however, will face broad opposition, including from modernizers within his own party who have seen a earlier attempt to revive high schools more broadly in 2016 when Theresa May was prime minister.

There are only 163 secondary schools left in England and new ones have been banned since 1998. Any lifting of this ban, introduced by the Labor government, would require primary legislation. Although the government has a large majority in the Commons, it would face strong opposition in the House of Lords.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the 1922 committee of Conservative backbenchers and a longtime grammar school supporter, is signaled that he planned to table an amendment to the government’s recent Schools Bill in an attempt to lift the ban.

David Johnston, Conservative MP for Wantage and former chairman of the Social Mobility Foundation, warned that the return of high schools would be deeply divisive for the country and within the Conservative Party.

Write in the viewer, he said, “I know high schools are popular with members and my views won’t be. But bringing them back would be a serious misstep for education policy. They distract us from what we should be doing, they serve the rich not the poor – and they don’t work.

Steve Mastin, a former head of history at a public high school and vice president of the Conservative Education Society, said he would speak out against high schools at the Conservative Party conference. “High schools reduce parental choice. It is the school that selects, not the parents. And 80% of students in the country will be refused to go to a high school.

Shadow Education Secretary Bridget Phillipson said the high schools were “a distraction tactic” from a government that had run out of ideas. “Grammars are a tiny minority of schools, they don’t improve learning outcomes and parents don’t want them – they want the Education Secretary to raise standards in our comprehensive schools.”

Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman Munira Wilson said it was a “desperate attempt” by the Conservatives to hide their own failures. “Rather than supporting children who are working hard to catch up on their lost learning, the Conservatives would prefer to impose top-down rules on the types of schools that can be built in communities.

Lee Elliot Major, professor of social mobility at the University of Exeter, warned that introducing new grammar schools without strong measures to ensure access for children from all backgrounds would create “an exclusive cadre of schools in the middle class, certainly not engines of social mobility in any way”. at all”.

Jon Andrews, head of analysis at the Education Policy Institute, said it was an “aging debate” detracting from the real issues facing schools. “Whether it’s reducing inequality in education, tackling teacher shortages, or even just helping schools deal with dramatically increased operating costs, high schools are not the solution.”

Dr Nuala Burgess, chair of campaign group Comprehensive Future, said: ‘It is extremely concerning that an untested new government could choose to sweep away all reason and the weight of evidence that shows the very limited value of high schools for a tiny minority of children.

“Ask any parent what they want for their child’s education and it’s definitely not ‘more high schools’. Parents want well-funded, well-funded schools.

Geoff Barton, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the expansion of high schools was “purely ideological”. He said the significant issues facing the education sector remain funding and shortage of teachers. “Resolving these issues would make the biggest difference in improving outcomes for all students, which is certainly any government’s priority.”

Case studies

Sally Weale, education correspondent

As the government draws up plans for more secondary schools in England, a new website has launched to give a voice to parents, pupils and teachers who have first-hand experience of the 11-plus test and its impact.

About 100,000 children currently turn 11 and over each year to secure a place in one of the 163 high schools still in operation. Here are some of the comments from 11+ Anonymous site, set up by campaign group Comprehensive Future.

On the stress of the test, a father from Kent, where the grammar system still works, said: “A few nights before the test I looked at the search history on my daughter’s tablet. The latest research said “How to Cope When You’re Panicking About Something”. A 10 year old child!

On tuition fees, a mum from Sevenoaks said: ‘We’ve spent £2,000 on tutoring fees over the last year. Everyone I know does that. I am envious of friends who live in areas where there are only good understandings. No stress for the 10 year old, no feeling of failure, just the free quality education he deserves.

A tutor aged over 11 in Trafford, Greater Manchester, where there are grammars, said: ‘I have seen many very bright children fail because of exam nervousness and less able children are lucky on the day and successful. For many children of roughly similar ability, the exam becomes little more than a lottery of luck rather than a test of ability.

A mother from Trafford said she knew of several children who had fallen ill under the weight of waiting. “Children who fail often suffer significant, sometimes lifelong, damage to their self-esteem. No child should go through this to get a good education and no child should be called a failure at 10 or 11 years old.

On the long-term impact of 11+, a 63-year-old grandmother said: “The 11+ test had such a negative impact on me and created self-esteem issues that persist to this day. “I’m not dumb. But I’ve had low self-esteem issues when it comes to my intellect and worth since I ‘failed’ that horrible test in 1969.”

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