Monday, 8 August 2016

Theresa May’s grammar school plan would brand many children as failures - Green Party

Back to the future with the Tories
Theresa May’s plans to allow new grammar schools would create an unfair education system which leaves too many young children branded as failures, the Green Party has warned.

There is clear evidence LINK that selective schools primarily benefit the already advantaged, while failing to serve the needs of those who most need support and assistance.

The Green Party is committed to fighting inequality and believes the Prime Minister’s plans to lift the ban on grammar schools, reported in the Sunday Telegraph LINK, would create a more divisive education system.

Vix Lowthion, Green Party spokesperson for Education, said grammar schools do not increase social mobility.

She said:
Selection based on academic performance in 11 plus style tests will not be based on raw ability but on which pupils are coached to pass these tests.
And coaching costs money and time and that only certain families will have.
Research by the Sutton Trust LINK found less than 3% of children at grammar schools are entitled to free school meals, while in contrast almost 13% did not have state-school backgrounds, coming mostly from independent schools.

Ms Lowthion, a secondary school teacher on the Isle of Wight, added:
Selective schools would condemn the vast majority of our 11-year-olds to feeling like they are academic failures before their high school career has even begun.
Grammar schools are not the solution. High expectations and the best education for every single child is what education policy must be.
The Green Party wants to see current grammar schools integrated into the comprehensive structure to make a fairer education system.

Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, said schools should prepare children for more than just exams, and joined calls for May to rethink the plans.
This is not a positive sign of the direction of education policy. We had hoped to see an end to Gove’s era of ministerial whim and outdated ideas of the purpose of education, when the ideology of privatisation dominated.
I speak in many schools, universities and colleges, and I know that young people feel failed by a system that prepares them for exams, not life, and that is being increasingly scarred by cuts to funding for essential provision.


  1. In Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem parties, it is the Leader who selects ministers and spokespersons.

    How does the Green Party select its spokespeople?

  2. At present they are appointed by the Green Party Executive after an application process. One year this was a one minute presentation via YouTube on policy area plus policy paper. The issue of whether they should be elected by the whole membership has been raised as well as the possibility, in order to ensure expertise, of it being the chair of particular policy groups. At general election time the positions have sometimes been used to give a higher profile to candidates in winnable seats. Plenty to discuss re these positions in my opinion.

    Current spokespeople: