Delegates at the annual National Union of Teachers conference in Cardiff voted through a priority motion that condemns the expansion of selective education and seeks to campaign for a state-funded comprehensive education system that benefits all children, reports Nick Jones.
On the 7th March, Theresa May announced that the forthcoming Schools White Paper would contain plans to reverse the ban on new grammar schools. The Budget statement has ring-fenced £50 million a year to expand grammar schools and a further £5 million a year for free transport. This is in addition to the £320 million set aside for Free Schools, many of which are likely to be selective. At the same time as money is being pumped into eudcation that benefits the better off, pupils with special educational needs (SEND) face transport funding cuts.
There are currently 163 grammar schools in England. Less than 3% of entrants are entitled to free school meals and 13% of school entrants come from private schools, according to research from the Sutton Trust.
The NUT is committed to building a coalition of parties, educationalists, researchers, parents, public figures and other unions, to campaign against selective education, oppose cuts and ensure that all children have access to a good local school with a commitment to social justice.
The Tories have the wrong priorites – they are cutting back in mainstream schools and funding selective education that fails the most vulnerable children in society.
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