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 Lord Nash Lord Nash The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 4:26 pm, 12th September 2016

As I have said, we believe it should be possible to design plans that would benefit the wider system. We are working with the Grammar School Heads Association on a test at 11 that will be much more difficult to coach and prepare for. The noble Baroness made an extremely good point on summer-born children. This is something we are looking at very closely. I have just taken over responsibility for admissions, and I am looking at this extremely closely. On early years, over the past few years, we have invested significant sums in widening access to childcare for parents, particularly the less advantaged. On the EBacc, our ambition is not that all children should take the EBacc; we fully understand that there will be some for whom it is not appropriate, but we see no reason why a target of 90% taking it, if not necessarily passing it, is not achievable. We are seeing that many schools that formerly had single figures for pupils taking EBacc are now achieving 70% or 80% of pupils studying these subjects quite happily.