Press Release – 14th June 2018

The “Excellent Education for Everyone” campaign group, set up to oppose the introduction of a new grammar school into Maidenhead and to publicise the success of its existing comprehensive schools, has today spoken about the impact of school cuts and grammar school expansion on schools in the Prime Minister’s constituency.
Kendrick Grammar School in Reading and John Hampden Grammar School in Buckinghamshire have both started consulting on proposals to expand their intake with a view to applying for a share of £50 million earmarked by the Government.
The money has been set aside for grammar school expansion for schools who “have ambitious and realistic plans for increasing access for disadvantaged pupils’ in accordance with the DfE guidance. At present 4% of John Hampden’s pupils and 2.1% of Kendrick’s pupils are in receipt of pupil premium. The average figures of pupils in receipt of pupil premium in the two local authorities is between 30-40%.
At the same time, a local primary school in Maidenhead, St Edmund Campion, has emailed parents with an Amazon wish list, citing the reduced school funding and the potential impact of that on its teaching resources. The list contains consumable resources that the school continually requires including pens, pencils, stamps, envelopes, plasters and toilet roll. The toilet roll is marked as the highest priority on the list.

“In the same week that schools in two neighbouring authorities have announced plans to access the £50 million fund for expanding grammar schools, a primary school in the Prime Minister’s own constituency has been forced to create an Amazon wish list asking parents to buy basic essentials.

The government claims to want to make Britain a country that works for everyone, but seems intent on doing the exact opposite. Excellent Education for Everyone continues to campaign for all children to receive an excellent, fairly funded education, not just a select few.”

ends

Press queries – [email protected]
EE4E website: www.ExcellentEducationforEveryone.org.uk; follow EE4E at: http://www.facebook.com/Excellent Education for Everyone; http://twitter.com/#!/ee4eRBWM

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.

Read more

Challenging the Grammar School Heads Association

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

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

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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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.