Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Children, Schools and Families – in the House of Commons at 2:30 pm on 30th June 2008.

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Photo of Edward Balls Edward Balls Secretary of State for Children, Schools and Families 2:30 pm, 30th June 2008

My hon. Friend is quite right. Many high-performing schools that are in the national challenge category will get through the 30 per cent. threshold comfortably. They have our full support, but they are not failing schools at all. It is true that secondary moderns face greater challenges, which is why they need extra support. I have said that we will give extra support to secondary moderns to ensure that they overcome the extra barriers they face because of selection. It is also true that the majority of secondary modern schools are already above the 30 per cent. threshold. We will work with them, use their experience and expertise and, in some cases, partner them with other national challenge schools so that we can ensure that every school and every child gets what every parent wants—a good local school. We will ensure that the extra support is there, and that schools have our full support.

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