North Somerset headteachers unite to oppose Government’s grammar school plans

PUBLISHED: 09:00 06 February 2017

North Somerset's headteachers say they are opposed to grammar schools.

North Somerset's headteachers say they are opposed to grammar schools.

(c) Jetta Productions

Nine headteachers from across North Somerset have signalled their opposition to grammar schools after signing a letter to Prime Minister Theresa May.

Headteacher Chris HildrewHeadteacher Chris Hildrew

Grammar schools, which select their pupils through an exam, were phased out in the 1950s and 1960s.

But the Department for Education is consulting on whether more grammar schools should be created around the country.

Headteachers at Hans Price Academy, Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College and the North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College in Weston have joined forces to tell the Government selective education would have a negative impact on the district’s schools.

They believe it will lead to schools selecting the children they want, rather than parents choosing the school.

Churchill Academy.Churchill Academy.

Chris Hildrew, headteacher at Churchill Academy, has also signed the letter.

He told the Mercury: “I am completely opposed to the expansion of selection by ability.

“The evidence from areas of the UK where selection currently exists shows selective education disadvantages the disadvantaged, while giving advantages or making little-to-no difference to those who already have a head start.

“Ensuring comprehensive education is adequately funded so all children have access to a school place which is at least good would do far more to improve social mobility than this backward-looking proposal.”

Researchers for the Education Policy Institute, a think tank which aims to raise schools’ standards, said in a report how North Somerset is one of only six areas in the country which would benefit from grammar schools and has support from parents.

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