Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby warns Theresa May grammar schools 'against common good'

Posted On: 
9th December 2017

Grammar schools are “contrary to the notion of the common good”, the Archbishop of Canterbury said yesterday.

Justin Welby hit out at grammar schools as 'contrary to the common good'.
Credit: 
PA Images

Leading a debate on education in the House of Lords, the Most Rev Justin Welby said government should not "waste our time rummaging there for the solutions of tomorrow." 

"The academic selective approach to education, one which prioritises separation as a necessary precondition for the nurture of excellence, makes a statement about the purpose of education that is contrary to the notion of the common good," he added.

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His comments are an apparent criticism of Theresa May, who has pledged to build a new generation of grammar schools.

Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen said: ‘He is obviously entitled to his own views, but the evidence is that grammar schools are a great way for under-privileged children to escape poverty.

Labour peer Lord Adonis – a former schools minister – used the debate to argue Theresa May should appoint a "minister for good schools" to tackle the country's "social crisis".

Lord Adonis made several other proposals, including: a 25% levy on private school fees to fund teachers pay and tuition; reduced tuition fees; an investigation into university vice-chancellor pay; and that schools should only be able to exclude pupils who have broken the law.