Press Release – June 5th 2017

Education campaign group issues plea to voters in RBWM

Maidenhead-based campaign group Excellent Education for Everyone is urging residents not to vote Conservative or for any other candidate or party in favour of selective education, in the forthcoming General Election.
The campaign group was specifically set up to oppose a grammar school coming into the Borough, supports the existing, highly successful comprehensive system, and will resist unproven claims for the success of selection.
The move follows a review of the education policies laid out in the manifestos of the main parties standing in the Maidenhead and Windsor constituencies.

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Challenging the Grammar School Heads Association

Letter and Pen (wide)

Reports that the Secretary of State and Department of Education officials recently met with members of the Grammar School Heads Association gave us the first indications of the governments next moves in its plans for the expansion of selective education. Minutes from these meetings, outlined in the heads association spring newsletter, included a statement: ‘People who are philosophically opposed to selection, keep saying it damages the education of other pupils but present little or no evidence to support this claim’. Groups opposed to selection from around the country, including Excellent Education for Everyone, have now signed a letter from the national Comprehensive Future group providing exactly the evidence that they claim we have not presented and challenging the Grammar School Heads Association to provide evidence that selection does no harm to those not selected.

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Dodgy statistics – it’s all the Department for Education has

Dfe University attendance statistic for "white working class boys" by school type

On November 10th, the Department For Education published a series of tweets aimed at promoting the idea that grammar schools are good. One of these tweets contained a seriously skewed statistic which the DfE clearly thought was going to show that grammar schools delivered better outcomes for white working class children than comprehensives schools did…and then the twitterverse took them to task and instead showed how it actually showed the opposite.

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When is a good school not a good school

Heathrow T5 Ofsted

Ever since RBWM council first proposed the idea of opening a grammar school in Maidenhead, Theresa May’s stance on the subject has been that “good schools should be allowed to expand”. With her more recent moves to change the legislation that prevents the creation of new grammar schools she has gone one step further and now says that the law should not prevent good schools from opening. So what have we learnt from this? Clearly Theresa May thinks good schools are good and we should have more good schools and what is wrong with that.

But what exactly is a good school and how do we know that a new school will be a good school?

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The Thinning – an 11+ Dystopia

thethinning

Out in YouTube land there’s a independent film about to go on release. It’s the story of a dystopian future where the population is tested for intelligence and only the brightest are allowed to survive. You can watch the trailer here.

Whilst the film explores an extreme approach to “thinning” the population, its not so very different to the selective education systems that we have in the United Kingdom. Every year in areas that have selective education, children are put through the awful process of testing to see if they are “worthy enough” to be allowed a decent education. So much of their lives will be determined by the outcome of this test that perhaps the extreme version portrayed in “The Thinning” isn’t such a huge step beyond what we do now.

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Schools that don’t work for everyone

Schools that don't work for everyone

Theresa May’s speech to the British Academy on September 9th was the worst speech on education ever delivered by a Prime Minister. It was remarkable for the lack of evidence for a fundamental change to our education system. The Prime Minister made a number of claims that at best are not supported by evidence and at worst are contradicted by it.

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Why don’t Grammar supporters want to talk about Secondary Moderns?

Don't mention Secondary Moderns

Watching the recent flurry of TV debates on the question of whether to bring back grammar schools, you could be forgiven for thinking that the secondary modern school had no place in the debate. In every TV piece that I have seen the grammar proponents talk about Grammar schools educating the “most able” whilst the Comprehensive schools would be dedicated to the remaining pupils. Either they don’t understand what a Comprehensive school is or they are frightened to use the term Secondary Modern.

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BBC Radio 4 “More or Less” look at grammar schools

The Radio 4 More or Less statistical analysis programme looked at the evidence on the effect of Grammar schools today. You can find the original programme at More or Less: Behind the Stats but we’ve trimmed the content down to only include the relevant part of the programme for you.