The battle lines have been drawn for the future of our education

By: Jimmy Allen, Student Voices writer

Bristol Grammar School 1882

It was only a matter of weeks ago that I wrote an article for the Student Voices website advocating the return of grammar schools. The last few days has seen the topic whip up a frenzy of polarised opinions in the wake of opportunistic photographers as Theresa May plans her next move in this political game of chess.

The absolutely abhorrent Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw has already voiced his vehement opposition to any consideration for grammar schools. He said the reintroduction of grammar schools would see “overall standard sliding back”. Perhaps Wilshaw has not checked the school league tables and the Oftsed scores being awarded to grammar schools in the UK, but I suggest he does or questions will be asked on what grounds he received a knighthood. Grammar schools dominate the league tables – if they provide such fantastic education, why would introducing more of them cause standards to slide? More grammar schools in the country would allow more children to benefit from top education which would see standards rise, not fall Mr Wilshaw.

Theresa May this week has indicated that future grammar school places will be predominantly allocated to children of poorer backgrounds. If this proves to be the case, then I believe we will be on the correct pathway to phasing grammar school education back into mainstream education. Even The Sun (who I thought I would never reference in an article ever) has published a very honourable stance on the issue – they are in favour of grammar schools but insist that there “must be safeguards to ensure grammars take as many bright kids from poor families as richer ones”.

Our Theresa has come out stating how her vision of what a reintroduction of grammar schools would look like under her reign. She wants to see grammars actively recruit children at the ages of 14 and 16 in order to not miss those that are deemed late developers. This is a progressive and subtle change that should be praised by all sides.

The Left need to accept that a one size fits all education system does not work and has never worked. What’s needed is diversity and choice for parents. May has put particular emphasis on faith schools and universities. Faith schools will be able to make places available predominantly for children of their own faith, lifting the absurd legislation in place imposed on them that they had to accept children from other communities in the eyes of ‘fairness’. May would also like to explore the idea of universities creating closer links with schools by sponsoring them.

These plans are potentially the most progressive that have ever been seen by the electorate. After years of education policies that suppressed talent and ability under New Labour we finally have someone at the helm that is serious about the education of our children. The education battlefield has been laid out and with plenty of opposition pent up for the fight driven by absurd knee-jerk reactions, dated ideologies and a House of Lords intent to exert power akin to the days of the 1800s, we are set for a long gruelling battle that I desperately hope Our Theresa will come out victorious. 
The battle lines have been drawn for the future of our education The battle lines have been drawn for the future of our education Reviewed by Student Voices on 21:34 Rating: 5

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