BBC BLOGS - Newsnight: Michael Crick
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Expansion of selective education

Michael Crick | 19:49 UK time, Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Many Conservatives (and some others, no doubt) will be disappointed that Michael Gove's White Paper today does nothing to extend grammar schools, or selection in the English education system.

It's often been pointed out that no education secretary abolished more grammar schools than Margaret Thatcher between 1970 and 1974.

And conversely, which government in recent times presided over the biggest expansion of selective education? The answer, Chris Husbands of the Institute for Education has just told me, was Labour between 1997 and 2010.

The reason is simple. Many of the local authorities which still have grammar schools - such as Buckinghamshire, Trafford and Kent - have been areas of population expansion in recent years.


  • Comment number 1.


    Toffs go to a school they can name to advantage.

    Intelligentsia school for high income.

    Middle-folk school because the alternative is unthinkable.

    Working class school to survive.

    The unwaged see school as an alternative to the Mall.

    All use school as a place to park the kids while serving Mammon.

    There is NO schooling dedicated to PRIMARILY uplifting confidence, awareness, philosophy, self esteem and (why not) integrity. And there lies the reason for our decline.

  • Comment number 2.

    Gove does not have a mandate for any of this .... he is a Walter Mitty but he has power, was he ever bullied at school? And if not ...why not?

  • Comment number 3.

    The poor get more poorly educated and the rich get more richly educated.

    Kids don't get to be pushy about education and so the less well-off get trampled on as valueless middle-class parents scrabble to send their kids to a paid-for state school which is more than a stone-throw from wherever is deemed to be an undesirable area.

    Expect no better from the Tories, the LibDems are pitiful and bust, shame on Labour to pander to this.


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