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My Lords, does the Minister agree that progress over the last few years in schools—and there has been significant progress—has owed nothing to the argument about whether we should have grammar schools? That is a political argument, which unfortunately some on each side would like to resurrect. The issue is excellence in schools. There is already selection; setting takes place in...
My Lords, would the Minister agree that the question of excellence in schools runs the risk of being diverted into the question of whether we have grammar schools? That applies to both sides of the argument. The question of quality in schools is much wider and broader than that. In fact, the advantages given by being able to coach students to go to grammar schools is equally to be found in...
My Lords, I, too, congratulate and thank the noble Lord, Lord Bird, for securing this debate. Clearly, the impact of his personality and talent outside this House will be mirrored by a similar impact within the House, and we look forward to that over the years. I also congratulate my good noble friend Lady Sharp on her farewell speech. It summed up much of what we value in the contribution...
Entered the House of Lords on 18 July 2001
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