Government plans on extended selection and opening new grammar schools have been rejected by school leaders across England, according to the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT).
With data collected by the union in September stating that 80 per cent of NAHT members are opposed to the opening of new grammar schools, written evidence compiled by the union was presented to the government consultation which came to a close on December 12.
Russell Hobby, general secretary of NAHT commented in a statement: “The evidence does not support the expansion of grammar schools; they do not contribute to social mobility and will distract attention from the things that really matter.
“Instead of this divisive and risky reform, we need a firm focus on the most pressing issues within education. It’s quite straightforward: getting great teachers for the pupils who need them most, supported by confident leaders and with access to an evidence base of what works.
“Our submission to the government’s consultation will make this clear. We know that grammar schools do not increase social mobility. They often provide a good quality education for those lucky enough to attend them, but they take fewer children on free school meals than schools with mixed abilities. 12.6 per cent of pupils at the highest performing non-selective schools claim free school meals; at grammar schools this is just 2.4 per cent. For too many of the poorest pupils, grammars have failed to deliver.
“In September our members voted overwhelmingly against plans to expand selection in schools, with nearly eight in ten opposing the plans to open more grammar schools. School leaders know that selective school systems, using flawed and inaccurate tests, do not create schools that work for everyone.
“It is too late to address educational and social disadvantage at 11 and it is impossible to fairly determine academic ability with a single pass or fail test.”
The consultation comes as a study conducted by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) found only six areas in England where parents want new grammar schools would benefit the wider school population.
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