Grammar schools create ‘educational apartheid', says campaigner

New £50m funding for Grammar schools is a ‘scandal’, says Chair of Comprehensive Future

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Government has announced a new £50m fund for 16 grammar schools in a bid to create 3,000 more school places, but the chair of Comprehensive Future described the new funding as a “scandal”.

Dr. Nuala Burgess, chair of the anti-selection campaign group, told talkRADIO’s Matthew Wright: “The fact is that all other schools were on their knees and 16 already privileged schools have been chosen to receive this funding. That is the scandal.

“In Buckinghamshire alone, there are 10,000 children in schools graded inadequate or requires improvement.

“How does the government justify extra funding to schools that are already well-resourced and well-staffed?

“We know parents are campaigning so strongly in their local communities against school cuts and they are campaigning for funds for loo roll and stationery. It is absolutely outrageous.”


'Grammar schools do not raise attainment' 

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said the new measures were to improve access for disadvantaged children.

However, Dr Burgess said there was no proof that grammar schools “raise attainment”.

“There is academic research that proves grammar schools do not raise attainment and it is a myth that the government pedals that they raise social mobility,” she said.

“Grammar schools create an educational apartheid in every area where they exist. What happens is an educational and social segregation of children.

“The children either go to grammar schools or secondary moderns. But, what is really important about this split is that it is the middle-class - more affluent - who can afford tutoring or to get their children into prep schools who are going to succeed in getting into grammar schools.

“They are more likely to pass the 11 plus. We have done our research and it is true that there is a bigger percentage of prep school children who actually access grammar schools.

“It is not fair on all the other children whose parents cannot afford tutoring, and tutoring to the test is absolutely essential if you are to pass the 11 plus.”