Jeremy Corbyn under pressure from within Labour to spell out grammar school plan

The Independent is reporting that Jeremy Corbyn and Lucy Powell are coming under pressure from within the Labour party to spell out plans to scrap the 11-plus and end grammar school status for the country’s 164 remaining state selective schools.

During his election campaign, the Labour leader spoke of the need for “all grammars to become comprehensives and end the 11-plus where it still exists”…

Now Melissa Benn, who chairs Comprehensive Future  – which campaigns for a non-selective state education system, and Fiona Millar, her deputy, have written to both Mr Corbyn and Ms Powell.  They want an early meeting with the Labour party leader to discuss how to implement the plan…

Under Comprehensive Future’s proposals, a date would be set for the ending of the 11-plus – the existing grammar schools would remain open but their admissions criteria would be changed to a fully comprehensive intake.

Mr Corbyn’s new administration is also likely to take a tougher line on independent schools – with the party’s leader in Scotland already talking about plans to remove their charitable status.  So far, however, no decision has been made on new policy initiatives…

More at: Jeremy Corbyn under pressure from within Labour to spell out grammar school plan


Would you like to see Jeremy Corbyn make the ending of selection and grammar schools a Labour Party policy commitment with a clear plan of implementation?

Please let us know why/why not in the comments or via Twitter…


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Categories: Local authorities, Policy and Secondary.


  1. TW

    This will horrify all the Blarite (aka Tory) M.P.s in NuLab – hopefully they will resign or just join the Conservative Party where they belong.

  2. Disadvantaged children in selective areas are far less likely to be in selective schools than non-selective ones.  And inevitably all previously low-attaining pupils will be the non-selective schools whose intake is creamed of previously high-attaining pupils.  Yet these schools are pilloried for low results.
    At the same time, selective schools near the borders of comprehensive authorities attract high-ability pupils from these areas.  This confounds the LAs’ comprehensive ideals.
    That said, many selective schools are excellent in the same way as many non-selective schools are also excellent.  They should, therefore, open their doors to offer this excellent education to pupils of all abilities ie the children of 75% of local families.

  3. Busy Mum

    Janet2 There are very few disadvantaged children in selective areas; the house prices are too high.

    Very few disadvantaged children take the 11+ anyway because their parent(s) cannot be bothered. If they made the 11+ compulsory, then all children would have a chance, not only those with parents who care.

  4. Busy Mum

    Anybody would think the 11+ was compulsory. Parents actively choose to pursue this route; why do politicians think they know what is best for other people’s children?

    The excellent education currently given by grammar schools will become less excellent once time is being spent on behaviour issues as opposed to teaching.

    If they want more disadvantaged children to attend excellent schools, then open grammar schools in poor areas so that all able children can obtain this education rather than only wealthy able children.

  5. Busy Mum Janet2 Two sweeping and unfounded generalisations.  I’ll deal with the first.
    Lincolnshire is a selective area but has pockets of deprivation eg Skegness which has been described as one of the most deprived coastal towns.  Average house price in Lincolnshire is £132,398 (national average £183,861)
    Kent, too, is fully selective.  Like Lincolnshire it has pockets of deprivation in coastal towns such as Margate.  The average house price in Kent (£214,216) is above the national average but in Margate the average house price falls to 168,005.  
    Medway is also a selective area – average house price is £165,405.
    Data from Land Registry and Rightmove

  6. Busy Mum I’ll now deal with your second sweeping statement.  It’s an arrogant assumption to say that parents of
    disadvantaged children don’t care about their children’s education.
    Not putting children through the 11+ is not automatically a sign that parents ‘cannot be bothered’.  It may be the parents don’t want
    to put their children through the stress of the 11+ or hot-house them by
    coaching.  It may be they want their child to experience a comprehensive

  7. Busy Mum Grammar schools are not necessarily offering an excellent education.  Stretford Grammar was judged Inadequate in 2009 and Chatham Grammar for Boys was judged Inadequate in 2013.  Both are now Good but this demonstrates that it’s not automatic for grammars to be ‘excellent’.
    And opening more grammars would mean 75% of local children, disadvantaged and advantaged, would be sent to non-selective schools with a skewed intake (aka secondary moderns).  This 75% would be told they were failures at 11 and were being sent to schools perceived as second-tier (after the ‘elite’ grammars).

  8. Alan Gurbutt

    Non selective schools in selective coastal areas are particularly hard hit by a multitude of issues that are passed into schools that affect children’s education, so much so that Monks Dyke Tennyson in Mablethorpe Lincolnshire may close.
    Blaming parents won’t cut it. Schools, teachers and parents need to work together for improvement. If a parent is finding it tough engaging with education, in terms of fostering resilience, the last thing they need is to have their child rejected. No child or school should succeed at the expense of another, this cannot be overstated.
    Please refer to the evidence on why selection does not work at
    Best wishes,
    Alan (Lincolnshire)

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