‘Grammar school’ consultation response
The Department for Education’s consultation on grammar schools, entitled without apparent irony “Schools that work for everyone” closes on 12 December 2017. More than usual with this particular consultation there is a strong sense of ‘why bother?’ Those familiar with the form of DFE consultations will be unsurprised to learn that at no point does this ‘consultation’ actually ask whether respondents agree with increasing the spread of grammar school provision. And if there were any doubt about whether the government really were planning to press ahead with all of this there was the recent budget announcement that the only additional money for schools – £240m – would be to support the expansion of grammar school provision.
Opposition to the proposals to expand grammar school provision has been well thought out and widely publicised, although not universal, as the below the line comments on my RSA colleague Julian Astle’s blog on the topic well illustrate. It is important to note, however, that for the civil servants in Whitehall responsible for collating and analysing the consultation response, letters to national newspapers and detailed analyses of the short-comings of the proposed policy sent to the Secretary of State count for nothing. The only responses that will count are those that are submitted on-line in response to the 34 (yes, 34!) questions in the consultation.
I have therefore responded on-line, and have attached the answers I have given to the five areas for consultation:
- Families who are just about managing
- Increasing the role of independent schools in state schooling
- Increasing the role of universities in state schooling
- Increasing selection
- Faith schools
I should emphasise that this is my personal response, rather than one on behalf of the RSA or RSA Academies. If you feel similarly in any area then feel free to use my comments as part of your own response.
Whatever you think of the proposals, I would encourage you to respond to the DFE consultation on-line so that the Department receives as full a set of responses as possible on these important issues.