Theresa May: Grammar schools do not leave poor children behind – it makes them do better

The Independent is reporting that Theresa May has ignored claims from various people that grammar schools are detrimental to the education of some children.

Theresa May has brushed aside claims that grammar schools could damage less gifted children’s education, instead arguing that they make “poorer children do better”. She vowed to push on with her controversial reforms, which she said were the key to closing the attainment gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and others.

It follows claims that the Prime Minister is ploughing forward with the policy without looking at evidence suggesting the schools leave some children behind. 

Among critics has been the outgoing Chief Inspector of Schools Sir Michael Wilshaw, who pointed to a larger than average attainment gap between children in Kent, which operates a selective system. 

Asked what evidence she had to support her plans, Ms May said: “First of all, if you look at grammar schools you see that grammar schools are overwhelmingly good or outstanding schools. That’s about the quality of eduction they are providing.”

More at: Theresa May: Grammar schools do not leave poor children behind – it makes them do better

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  1. Nairb1

    So the PM ignores all the evidence and ploughs on with a policy based on ideology, anecdote and personal experience. No change there then.

  2. gingersteve1664

    MooreLynne1 I don’t think grammar schools are about class it’s about bringing the best out of what we’ve got

  3. May said the gap ‘between poorer children and better off children is virtually zero in a grammar school, so the education is really helping those children’.  Our PM doesn’t seem to have grasped that selecting only those disadvantaged children who are high ability will results in little or no gap between these pupils and their equally-high ability advantaged peers.  Neither has she recognised the proportion of poor pupils in existing grammars is so low as to make her remarks disingenuous.

  4. PRIDESolidarity

    SchoolsImprove it makes the ones who GO to grammar schools better at the expense of those left behind. ALL the evidence

  5. Terry Handley

    Has she really looked at the data from areas, like Lincolnshire, that already have grammar schools? Children feel they have failed if they do not get into a grammar school. It is NOT about the type of school but the standard of teaching and the paedogogy. Every child can perform well given the right level of support and stimulation. Some Grammar schools in Lincs are coasting along and there results are good BECAUSE they are selective, they are not truly adding value.

  6. N Jack

    I suspect that she understands the data perfectly well. This is either a ploy to woo conservatives who strayed to UKIP back to the fold (wasn’t one of their things ‘a grammar school in every town’?)’ or an attempt to distract from the uselessness of the Brexit planners. Either way it’s a cynical sacrifice.

  7. Terry Handley I’ve written about Lincolnshire here:

  8. N Jack Also an attempt to distract attention from other looming crises: recruitment and retention of teachers, school funding, testing chaos, school place supply.  And it’s not just in education that impending problems exist: the NHS, social care, our depleted defence force, crumbling infrastructure, future food and energy security, tax avoidance and, of course, Brexit.

  9. Nairb1

    ‘A grammar school in every town’ was indeed a UKIP slogan at the last election. I asked one of their canvassing teams why their banner didn’t say ‘Several secondary moderns in every town’ and was told to ‘F*** off’ which I guess passes for informed debate about education for some people.

  10. Nairb1 Don’t you just appreciate reasoned argument!  I heard on Radio 4 this morning that a top UKIP donor has contacted Trump with a view to setting up a right-wing ‘Momenturm’ in the UK.  Happy days are here again…

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