The Guardian is reporting that Sir Michael Wilshaw has said a return to grammar school selection in England would be an economic disaster and leave young people without the skills the country needs.
Speaking to a conference of Catholic school leaders in London, Wilshaw said selecting pupils by academic ability and giving a grammar school education to the top 20% – as happened in most parts of England until the 1970s – would be “economic suicide”.
He said: “What we need – because the economy is now so different from when I started teaching – is for more young people to do better than ever before.” He pointed out that Britain’s main economic rivals did not rely on selective education systems.
“I’m a big supporter of comprehensive education. It can work, one size does not have to fit all – if schools have great leadership it can work,” Wilshaw said in response to a question at the Catholic Association of Teachers Schools and Colleges annual conference…
Wilshaw claimed the autonomy granted to schools with academy status – allowing them more control over their own affairs – put them on a par with the freedoms enjoyed by private schools. “What’s the difference between being an independent school and being an academy? Not much,” he told the conference.
He said local politicians needed to do more to improve schools in their area in order to match the rapid improvement in results seen in London, and he intended to single out one city in a forthcoming speech…
Sir Michael makes clear where he stands on the issue of selection – your thoughts and reactions?
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