Last weekend saw people campaigning throughout the country against the proposals to bring back grammar schools. For all Theresa May’s protestations to the contrary, this is a retrograde step that is highly contentious and creates yet another division in education – setting school against school, child against child, creating so-called winners and losers.
It’s so preposterous it shouldn’t warrant comment. It shouldn’t even be discussed. Yet here we are again, considering another implausible whim of a politician that takes precedence over the needs of young people when deciding education policy.
With #EducationNotSegregation trending on Twitter all day on Saturday, there’s a mass of tweets.
Here’s a few that caught our eye.
In the interest of fairness, there were also some unsupportive comments on Twitter.
“Is there a more facile and banal slogan than lefty drivel #EducationNotSegregation”
“I would be interested to know where every Labour MP sent their children to school.”
“Education not segregation sounds like a wonderful utopian idea but the fact is that children learn better with their academic peers.”
“My parents are middle-class because they both went to #grammarschools, and so onto higher/further education.”
“Restrict the opportunities of academically able children by mixing them w/kids who want to beat their teachers up.”
There we are then. Enough said.
It must also be pointed out that there were plenty of comments regarding segregation in faith schools – a subject we’ll return to in a future post.
@Peter984960881: Does that mean the abolition of faith schools as well? After all, segregation is detrimental to children.
Here’s a few articles/blogposts since May’s announcement regarding grammar schools that are really worth a read.
From the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2016/sep/16/i-failed-my-11-plus-but-i-passed-my-phd?CMP=share_btn_tw
From Paul Mason: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/aug/08/grammar-schools-arent-fit-for-the-world-of-the-future
From Tom Sherrington, former head of a grammar school: https://headguruteacher.com/2016/09/17/grammar-schools-schools-that-dont-work-for-everyone/
More from head teachers: http://m.yorkpress.co.uk/news/14734706.York_head_teacher__Why_the_plans_for_new_grammar_schools_are_wrong/
And two letters in the Guardian, released by the majority of the teacher unions and other organisations.
For a government that seems keen on research, they seem to have disregarded much which contradicts their proposals.
From SchoolsWeek: http://schoolsweek.co.uk/epi-grammar-schools-report-the-7-key-findings/
Education not segregation isn’t “lefty drivel”. Neither is it “banal” or “facile”.
“Education is a right not a privilege” is as true now as when it was first said. Unfortunately, it’s privilege that seems to earn the right to a highly academically focused education – be that through moving house or paying exorbitant termly fees or hiring a tutor.
And all of this talk about grammar schools diverts attention from the rights of the child to an education that engages them in all forms of learning – addressing the need to develop personal, social, spiritual, physical intelligence as well as intellect.
Yet again, this government is focusing on the wrong issues when it comes to education.