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 Forsyth of Drumlean Lord Forsyth of Drumlean Conservative 4:26 pm, 12th September 2016

My Lords, I hope my noble friend will forgive me, in view of my noble friend Lord Naseby’s injunction that this is an English matter, when I point out that when I left office as Secretary of State for Scotland in 1997, the number of children of school leaving age getting five decent passes was about 10% higher than in England. Today, it is the other way round. That is because of the reforms that have been brought in by a Conservative Government, which have been opposed by the parties opposite every step of the way. Does my noble friend not think that there is something quite bizarre about people wanting to make it against the law to have selection for intake into state schools when many of them, such as the former Deputy Prime Minister, benefited from expensive, highly selective schools giving them an excellent education themselves? Will my noble friend press ahead with these reforms and ignore the parties opposite, some of whose members wish to pull the ladder up after them?