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 Grocott Lord Grocott Labour 4:26 pm, 12th September 2016

My Lords, I heard the Prime Minister say—this is repeated in the Statement—that there is to be no return to the “binary system”. I put it to the Minister that there is nothing more demonstrably binary than saying to 11 year-old children and their families, “About 20% of you will go to a selective school and 80% will have failed to do so”. Is the cat not let out of the bag by the sentence in the Statement that says of selective schools, once they are established:

“We want them to raise standards in every part of the schools system … by sponsoring local non-selective schools”?

So you try to get your child into a selective school but they fail the exam; however, you then find that the selective school, out of the kindness of its heart, will give a bit of assistance to the second-division school down the road containing the 80% of pupils who failed to get in.