Four in five teachers oppose new grammar schools - poll

Posted On: 
14th September 2016

Four out of five teachers in England are opposed to lifting the ban on new grammar schools, a survey published this morning suggests. 

Teachers appear to be overwhelmingly against allowing new grammar schools
Credit: 
PA

The poll, conducted jointly by Teach First and two major teaching unions, also found that the vast majority of teachers and heads do not think testing at 11 is a reliable way of measuring academic potential.

The survey asked 2,500 headteachers and teachers to give their response to the plans, which were set out by Education Secretary Justine Greening in a Green Paper yesterday.

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It found that 79% of teachers feel there is no evidence for increasing selection in state education, while an almost identical number (80%)  oppose opening new grammars.

The proposals have come in for widespread criticism, including from the outgoing Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Wilshaw.

He said the idea that selective education would boost social mobility was “tosh and nonsense”.

There have also been criticisms from some Conservative MPs, with former education secretary Nicky Morgan saying yesterday she could not support the plans in their current form.

She warned the Government it faced a “real challenge” to get the legislation through the House of Commons.

The Tory chair of the Education Select Committee, Neil Carmichael, has said he does not see a case for opening new grammars.

The general secretary of the National Association of Headteachers, Russell Hobby, said the idea of lifting the ban on new grammars was a “terrible distraction” from the real issues in education.

“Increasing the number of grammar schools will lower standards and restrict opportunity," he said.

"We cannot afford such an elitist policy in the twenty-first century - as many students as possible need a high quality academic education."