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.
Councillors in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead are now pinning their hopes on a change in national legislation that will allow them to being a grammar school to Maidenhead. They intend this despite the compelling evidence that it will damage the education of the majority of the town’s pupils.
The evidence clearly illustrates four key facts.
- Disadvantaged children achieve worse results in grammar school areas
- Grammar schools have a detrimental impact on nearby schools
- Grammar school entrance exams discriminate against children from certain backgrounds, including high ability children – and attempts at creating so-called ‘tutor proof’ tests have failed
- Selection exacerbates social and racial divisions.
You can read the full letter to the Grammar School Heads Association is available here.