A return to selection puts progress at risk

04/10/2016

This week the National Governors Association was co-signatory of two letters published in the national press, opposing the Government’s plans for increasing selection in the education system.

The first letter was published on Monday in the Guardian, and reads:

As education organisations representing hundreds of thousands of teachers, support staff, governors and other education professionals, we are united in opposing the government’s plans for expanding selection. It’s clear that most children will lose out in a selective system and most non-grammar schools will find it even harder to recruit. Alarmingly, the green paper does not contain a single word about children with special educational needs and disabilities.

Comprehensive schools have demonstrated that it is possible to provide high-quality, inclusive education for all children, with 86% of state-funded schools currently rated good or outstanding. A return to selection puts this progress at risk. We call on the government to focus on funding, recruitment and an assessment system that works. And to directly address the poverty and inequality that many children face. Only then can we truly deliver schools that work for everyone.

Mary BoustedGeneral secretary, ATL, Kevin CourtneyGeneral secretary, NUT
Kate FallonGeneral secretary, AEP, Russell HobbyGeneral secretary, NAHT, Dave PrentisGeneral secretary, Unison, Tim RoacheGeneral secretary, GMB, Emma KnightsChief executive, National Governors’ Association, Henry Stewartfounding member, Local Schools Network

The second letter was published Tuesday in The Times (paywall) and reads:

Sir, Improving the life chances of the most disadvantaged children in our country should be one of the defining missions of any government. As leaders of organisations committed to creating a fairer education system for all, we are deeply concerned that the current proposals to overturn the ban on new grammar schools will have a pernicious effect on the very children that we all want to help.

We believe that a bold agenda for improving social mobility, without creating more grammar schools, can transform millions of lives. This agenda includes investing in the quality of early-years provision; attracting talented teachers and leaders to the most challenging areas; and ensuring that children from low-income families have high-quality and impartial careers advice and guidance.

Sir Richard Lambert, Chair of the Fair Education Alliance; Dame Julia Cleverdon, Vice Chair of the Fair Education Alliance; Russell Hobby, General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers; Brett Wigdortz, Founder and CEO of Teach First; Sonia Blandford, CEO of Achievement for All; Nick Haisman-Smith, Chief Executive of Family Links; Andy Ratcliffe, Chief Executive Officer, Impetus-PEF; John Murphy, CEO of Oasis Community Learning; Carolyn Robson, CEO and Executive Principal, RusheyMead Educational Trust; Professor Becky Francis, Director of the UCL-Institute of Education; Professor Chris Husbands, Vice Chancellor, Sheffield Hallam University; Julian Astle, Director of Education, RSA; Graeme Duncan, Chief Executive, Right to Succeed; Anna Feuchtwang, Chief Executive, National Children’s Bureau; Virginia Isaac, Chief Executive Inspiring Futures; Mary Bousted, General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers; Sherry Coutu, Executive Chairman and Founder, Founders4Schools; Nick Bent, Co-Founder and Director, The Tutor Trust; Abigail Shapiro, Co-Founder and Director, The Tutor Trust; Tom Kibasi, Director, Institute for Public Policy Research(IPPR); Ryan Shorthouse, Founder and Chief Executive, Bright Blue; Mike Ellicock, Chief Executive, National Numeracy; Tom Sherrington, Headteacher of Highbury Grove School in Islington; Geoff Barton, Headteacher, King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds; David Weston, Founder and Chief Executive of the Teacher Development Trust; Joanne Bartley, Chair, Kent Education Network; Liz Bayram, Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years; Michael Bluemink, acting Chief Executive, School-Home Support (SHS); Loic Menzies, Director, LKMCo; Margaret McCabe, CEO, Debate Mate; Kevin Kibble, Chief Executive, The Nurture Group Network; Dr Dwain A. Neil, Chairman, Reach Society; Bruno Reddy, Maths Social Entrepreneur & former Head of Maths at King Solomon Academy; Ruth Owen OBE, Chief Executive, Whizz-Kidz; Jennie Butterworth, CEO, Envision; Liz Garton, Director, The Progression Trust; Cliff Stokes, Headteacher of Newington Community Primary; Simon Barber, Principal of Carshalton Boys Sports College; Dominic Baker, Founder and CEO, Future Frontiers; Stephen Kearney, CEO, Action to Regenerate Community Trust; Jasper Kain, Co-Director, Football Beyond Borders; Jack Reynolds, Co-Director, Football Beyond Borders; Emma Knights, Chief Executive, National Governors’ Association; Martha Wright, Founder, Mindful Music; Aisling Kirwan, Director, The Grub Club; Kate Shelley, Founder, Tales Toolkit; Dr Chris Wilson, Co-CEO, The Brilliant Club; Asma Shah, CEO, You Make It; Julia Wright, National Director, Campaign for Learning; Matt Butler, Regional Academies Director, Oasis Community Learning; Melissa Lucien, Head of Programmes, The Brokerage; Anna Hennell-James, Headteacher of Halifax Primary School; Paul Gosling, head teacher, Exeter Road Community Primary School, Exmouth, Devin; Tony Draper, head teacher, Water Hall Primary school, Milton Keynes; Judy Shaw, head teacher, Tuel Lane Infant School and Chair of NAHT’s Early Years Sector Council; Kim Johnson, Principal of Bradfields Specialist SEN Academy in Chatham, Kent; Patrick Foley, head teacher, Southborough Primary School, Kent; Lewis Iwu, Director, Fair Education Alliance

More on this:

Government proposals for new grammar schools announced

 

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