I oppose the reintroduction of grammar schools. I do not believe that a segregated form of education is in the best interests of children. I continue to support a comprehensive system of education to ensure a fair chance for all young people regardless of their background.
The Government argues that grammar schools will help children from disadvantaged backgrounds have a better education. However, all the available evidence suggests that this is not the case. Poorer children in local authority areas which still use grammar schools actually perform worse than those in non-selective areas and are far less likely to get good GCSEs. Support for grammar schools continues to be based on anecdotal examples and not on evidence.
The reality of the old system of grammar and secondary-modern schools is that an entire generation of young people were written off because they were unable to pass a single exam at the age of 11. I believe that it is far too early to determine whether a child is suited to an academic education at the age of 11, particularly with the stigma which was associated with failing the 11-plus.
Education policy should be evidence-led. There is no evidence that grammar schools improve social mobility and I believe it would be a step backwards to introduce them back into our education system.