Friday, May 18, 2007

A Note on Grammar Schools

Many people will have been left scratching their head after the reporting of a speech by Conservative Shadow Education Spokesman, David Willetts MP. Sutton is one of the top performing Education Authorities in the country and is one of the few with a Grammar School system.

I am fortunate to have touched on all parts of the education system, having gone to an independent school myself, sent my children to both Comprehensive and Grammar Schools in Sutton and being a governor at a Primary and Secondary school in Carshalton.

We should be proud of our schools in the Borough, selective and non-selective alike. The Grammar Schools continue to achieve the very best results that stand up to comparison with any other. The non-selective schools perform admirably and continue to improve. Stanley Park High School is a case in point where their achievements would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. They were recognised as one of the most improved schools in the country this year. The rebuilding of the school is an opportunity to capitalise and build on this record.

I'll leave it to our Parliamentary candidates to consider the national education system, but locally, I retain my commitment to protect our Grammar Schools whilst seeking to give every child the tailored education that they require to have every opportunity in the future. The system works in Sutton, let's leave the decision to those who involve themselves directly in Sutton education not Whitehall.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

If you support Gramar Schools (as do I) then how can you remain a Conservative Party Member. The Conservative Party I knew was Eurosceptic, pro Gramar School, pro individual responsibility and anti-big government. The Conservative Party today is just "Blue Labour" and in my opinion call me Dave Cameron is Tony Blair MkII a man without principles or honour who will do and say anything to get elected, just like Blair, and look at the mess this country is in through him. UKIP are the only people "thinking what I'm thinking" these days. There is another party that is coming a close second but the country isn't in a bad enough state (yet) to allow them to breakthrough.

Arjun Ali said...

I think we're kind of missing the point here, pal, the Tories are not anti-grammar - they just think it is more efficable to pursue a social mobility agenda by adapting existing school structures.

Far be it for me to endorse a Blairite policy as a dyed in the rool pro-choice conservative but isn't the fundamental ethos of a grammar system to stream those of ability? This will be achieved in City Academics, which the Tories are now correctly endorsing.

It is also important to the remember that the party policy is to continue to support existing grammars, just not to build new ones and return to blanket 11+ selection.

I don't agree with DC on everything but they're dead right on this one.

Anonymous said...

Funny how the Cameron tory party all stick together after their gaffe a few weeks back. The current party is loaded with toffs from Eton and they have discarded any principles they had with their pronouncement on grammar schools.

I suppose it's alright for Cameron and his ilk but the ordinary folk in the street have to struggle on with a second-class education system. How can Cllr Scully trumpet grammars when he represents a party that want to disregard them? Cllr Pickles was absolutely right on this.

jasmine said...

I have to smile at Mr Scully's pronouncement that we should "be proud of our grammar schools".

How can he say that when the party he leads have just come out against them?

Surely a case of tory double-standards?