Zöe's View: Grammar schools and boundary review

September 23, 2016 12:13 AM
By Zöe Franklin
I've written in the Guildford Dragon about my views on the possible reintroduction of grammar schools by the Conservative government and the boundary view. You can read everything I said on their website, but here's what I said on grammar schools:
Surrey is fortunate to have many fantastic schools. Where schools are struggling they are working hard to improve the education they provide.
The government's proposal to reintroduce grammar schools to "increase the number of good schools and improve parent choice" does not help these schools.
Instead it enables those who can afford to move closer to support their child through school entrance exams - potentially resulting in "sink" schools for less affluent areas.
It is also pushing the idea that grammar schools help the poorest children succeed. Independent research concludes that in existing grammar schools only 3% of pupils come from poorer backgrounds. That is not creating social mobility for all.
Speaking with people since the proposal, most have expressed concerns with the idea. One primary leader said that, in their view, it sets the education system back decades and will undo the work done with lower-ability students - labelling them failures before they've even hit their teens. Another person spoke of the difficulties they experienced being the only one out of their friends who passed the 11 plus.
Ultimately, this proposal does none of what the government is touting it will achieve - it simply further entrenches inequality. The resources required to make it work would be better spent supporting and enhancing the current system. Let's not have success for the few at the cost of the many.