Council lends its support to grammar school idea, but angry row sees debate labelled “undemocratic”

The Clacton Gazette is reporting that councillors have voted in support of a motion calling for one of Southend’s four selective schools to expand into the borough of Basildon.

The motion by Amanda Arnold, Tory councillor for Pitsea South East, urged existing grammar schools to consider a Basildon annexe “for the benefit of future generations”…

Ms Arnold said: “We know we will need school places and while it may be up to Essex County Council to procure these, we should put our cards on the table right now and make it clear what we want.

“What message do we send to our brightest children if we say their choices are limited to the local schools we have?

“Let’s send the message we want to bring these outstanding schools here – we believe working with us will enhance their reputation.”

The Echo has contacted the four grammar schools in Southend and Westcliff for comment, but no one was available to comment…

During the meeting a row erupted after Phil Rackley, Green councillor for St Martin’s, accused Tory mayor Don Morris of stifling debate by refusing to allow him to speak.

When the vote was taken, only Ms Arnold and Mrs Allport-Hodge had spoken.

Mr Rackley wanted to oppose the motion, but Mr Morris cut the debate short because the full council meeting on Thursday had passed its 11.30pm cut-off point…

More at: Basildon Council lends its support to grammar school idea, but angry row sees debate labelled “undemocratic”

 

Sounds like an interesting approach to democracy!

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Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Public keep blindly voting these people in to make decisions for them and they keep doing stuff like this; short memories

  2. “What message do we send to our brightest children if we say their choices are limited to the local schools we have?
    What message does it send to the average and below average children if we say their choices are limited to schools which are the equivalent of secondary moderns?

  3. After the meeting, [Tory Mayor] Mr Morris told the Echo: “I just wanted to get on with it. I felt the motion would go through anyway, so why hang it out?”
    So that’s how democracy works.  Don’t bother with what’s likely to be minority opinion in the Council chamber – restrict debate to the majority opinion only.

  4. peterabarnard

    SchoolsImprove Brighter children usually thrive anywhere…it’s why they’re bright in part. What about maesages to the not so bright???

  5. Blinded by art

    Disagree with the approach taken during the debate but fully agree with providing an excellent learning platform for those who are high achieving and able. Each child should be in an environment that works best for them; we are all different and there should be no shame or stigma attached to be more vocationally-focused any more than being bullied for being a swot.

  6. Blinded by art Evidence shows early segregation increases the effect of socio-economic background.  The OECD found countries that do best in PISA tests tend to be those that do not segregate by ability until at least upper secondary (15+).
    ‘Vocationally-focused’ is a euphemism for average and below average.  In other words, children are chosen on the basis of two short tests taken at 10/11 which ones are ‘academic’ and which are destined for lesser work having been labelled as ‘failure’.  That environment is unacceptable for the children who are channelled into this route.
    References: http://esr.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2014/02/18/esr.jcu040.short?rss=1;  http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results-volume-IV.pdf

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