Grammar schools admission policy is a 'distraction'

Posted On: 
13th April 2017

The NASUWT has attacked the newly announced Government policy on Grammar schools.

The Education Secretary said this morning that grammar schools should change their admissions policies to admit more children from modest backgrounds.
Credit: 
PA Images

The Government’s plans to instruct grammar schools to take do more to take pupils from “ordinary working families” have been slammed by the largest teachers union.

The Education Secretary said this morning that grammar schools should change their admissions policies to admit more children from modest backgrounds.

Justine Greening’s speech follows new government analysis showing the majority of places at selective state schools go to children from well-off families.

She will call for schools to do more to help so-called “ordinary working families” – not the poorest households, but those on relatively modest incomes.

But Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT-The Teachers’ Union, branded the plans a “distraction” from the real crises in the education system.

She said: “[It is] a crisis of not enough teachers as a consequence of the Government’s attacks on the teaching profession is the issue which is having the most profound effect on the majority of children from ordinary working families.

“We are already witnessing increased covert selection in the school system as a result of the Government’s deeply misguided deregulation agenda.

Ms Keates added: “Permitting schools to send out strong advance signals to prospective families that if their child obtains a place at a school they can be expected to make significant financial contributions to school funds, purchase uniforms from expensive sole suppliers and expect to meet the costs of expensive school trips are all strategies of covert selection which the Government is failing to tackle.

“The Government’s proposals on selection are about extending privilege, not about tackling the problems of inequality, poverty and social exclusion which blight the lives of too many children and young people in our country and which are preventing them from achieving their full potential.”