TUC passes emergency motion opposing grammar school expansion

Teachers unions slam Tories for ignoring evidence

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TUC Congress has voted to oppose the expansion of pupil selection, whether through more grammar schools or greater selection in free schools.

The emergency motion was proposed by Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, and seconded by the NUT.

Bousted, who was also elected as TUC president today, commented:

“The Government has failed to provide any evidence that grammar schools are the solution to improve the education for the majority of children. Neither is there any evidence that grammar schools provide a route for poor, academically able children to achieve better life chances.

Existing evidence does, however, show that pupil selection discriminates against the poorest children.

This policy will not benefit the majority of children, but will benefit a chosen few, mainly from wealthier families. Evidence shows pupil selection lowers the attainment of the children who do not get into grammar schools.

Nor will this policy improve parental choice, because it won’t give the majority of parents any more choice than they have already.

Further selection will do nothing to stop ‘selection by house price’, nor will it eradicate child poverty. Grammar schools have never been a vehicle for social mobility.

This is a total distraction from addressing the most pressing crises facing schools – the shortage of school places, recruiting enough qualified teachers, and cuts to school budgets.”

Opposition to Theresa May’s plans, announced last week, has been widespread across the political spectrum and the education sector.

This week Trade Unionists from around the country are meeting in Brighton for the annual TUC Congress. Left Foot Forward is reporting from the event.

See also: PMQs: Jeremy Corbyn grills PM Theresa May on grammar schools

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