Schools - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 4:26 pm on 12th September 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton Baroness Farrington of Ribbleton Labour 4:26 pm, 12th September 2016

My Lords, does the Minister accept that in the Statement there are many descriptions of the problem but few of the answers? In terms of 11-plus selection, during the passage of the legislation, will he cite exactly how any relevant study justifies selection? In fact, it is not selection at the age of 11; it is rejection for the overwhelming majority of children. Attainment is being judged. The noble Lord referred to special educational needs. Yes, regard will be given to children with statemented special educational needs, but not to others. What about summer-born children who may have had a full year less than their age group by the time they reach the age of 11? Early years education was a foundation on which to build, particularly for children from deprived, working-class communities. Are the Government going to back that in future and extend it? The Minister is falling for a cheap trick by the Prime Minister. He professes to be concerned that all children should be able to reach EBacc. Now the evidence we see is based on 20%—or is it 25% or 30%?—getting through and the others being rejected.