Crossparty group of MPs unites to oppose May's grammar school plans

Posted On: 
19th March 2017

Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs are teaming up to try to stop Theresa May's "misguided" plans for new grammar schools. 

Former education secretary Nicky Morgan

Former education secretary Nicky Morgan has joined forces with her former coalition colleague Nick Clegg, along with former shadow education secretary Lucy Powell.

In a joint article in the Observer the trio tear into the Prime Minister's plans, which a number of her own MPs have also criticised.

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“Those championing selection as the silver bullet for tackling social mobility, or as the panacea for creating good new school places, are misguided," they write.

“While there are positive moves in other areas, such as the new T-levels and opportunity areas, all this good work will be squeezed out by an endless debate about more selection."

In the Budget last week Chancellor Philip Hammond announced £320m funding for 140 new free schools, which will be able to select their pupils by academic ability.

While advocates of grammars argue that they offer opportunities for children in deprived areas, the MPs say the "evidence is clear" that they actually damage social mobility.

"Whilst they can boost attainment for the already highly gifted, they do nothing for the majority of children, who do not attend them. Indeed, in highly selective areas, children not in grammars do worse than their peers in non-selective areas."