We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Leicestershire Liberal Democrats Challenge Tories on Grammar Schools

September 27, 2016 4:00 PM
Guernsey Grammar School (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guernsey_Grammar_School_and_Sixth_Form_Centre#/media/File:Guernsey_Grammar_School.jpg)

The Tory Government plans to reintroduce Grammar Schools

The Liberal Democrats have sparked a debate on Grammar Schools at Leicestershire County Council. This follows the Theresa May's announcement that the Government wish to re-introduce selective schooling.

At Wednesday's meeting, they will propose a motion that celebrates the success of Leicestershire's Comprehensive Schools and warns against the problems that re-introducing selective schools could bring.

Many of the arguments are based on the old system of Grammar Schools and Secondary Moderns where children took the 11+ exams at the end of primary school, and based on their result would either be permitted to attend a Grammar School, or would instead have to go to a Secondary Modern.

This system was slowly phased out for a number of reasons; the immense pressure of the 11+ exams, that "late developing" children whose talents emerged after 11 were ignored, that socially segregating children by ability was undesirable, that while results for the most gifted only marginally improved, results for those who failed the 11+ dropped severely, leading to an overall drop in ability.

Very few places in England still have Grammar Schools, notable exceptions being Lincolnshire, Buckinghamshire and Kent. In those places, the places at Grammar schools tend to go to children from wealthier families, whereas far fewer children from poorer backgrounds tend to qualify.

It also draws to attention that the most successful educational systems, such as those in Finland and Japan, reject the approach of selective schools and instead focus on ensuring every child gets the best possible education.

The motion makes similar points made by Nicky Morgan MP, the Conservative MP for Loughborough. It is hoped that the motion will garner cross party support for the comprehensive system.

Geoff Welsh said: "Leicestershire County Council was one of the first local authorities to abolish the grammar schools system and bring in a fully comprehensive system of education, committed to giving the best education to every child."

"As a result, I, and many people I know, benefited from a far better education and benefited from far more opportunities in life than I would have otherwise enjoyed."

"Loughborough MP Nicky Morgan has spoken out against the Government's plans to re-introduce selective schools."

"I hope that the Leicestershire County Councillors will join her in supporting a system of schooling that fulfils the potential of all children, rather than a select few."