The best appropriate education for all

I see from yesterday’s Daily Telegraph that the Labour pendulum has once again swung back to scrapping academic selection.

Legislative changes to the Education and Skills Bill, which would both end the eleven plus and close down existing grammar schools, are said to be supported by around fifty Labour MPs, many of whom will have benefited from a selective education themselves, because they feel grammar schools “condemn poor children to an inferior education”.

Wrong.

Short sighted, bigoted MPs, happy to ‘pull up the ladder’ once they themselves have climbed it, condemn poor children to an inferior education.

Attacking selective education in grammar schools whilst fervently pushing for every other school to achieve “specialist status” – selecting on the basis of sports, art, drama or technological ability – that kind of cynical small-mindedness condemns poor children to an inferior education.

Wake up and smell the coffee. Against the background of failing and ‘sink’ schools, educational ghettos where excluding a violent, aggressive pupil places a black mark against the head teacher, no wonder there’s such a wave of public support for traditional education methods.

Just because not all our young people can’t be academically bright doesn’t mean they should all pursue a vocational career. This ‘all or nothing’ Labour government doesn’t have the subtlety to envision a future where all our schools should raise their sights and provide the best appropriate education for all.

And if we don’t all stand up and say that, it will soon be too late, even if that means Kent Conservatives taking an opposing view to our Parliamentary colleagues.

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