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Grammar schools proposal so appalling that a cross-party alliance forms to fight them

(802 Posts)
noblegiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 12:13:50

Former Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (Lib Dem), former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan (Conservative) and former Shadow Education Secretary Lucy Powell (Labour) have written a joint piece for The Observer condemning the plans by Theresa May to open new selective schools.

"The formation of their cross-party alliance against grammar school expansion, which is opposed by about 30 Tory MPs, spells yet more political trouble for May on the domestic front. Last week, chancellor Philip Hammond was forced by a revolt in his own party into a humiliating budget U-turn over national insurance rises for the self-employed, and Conservatives lined up to oppose planned cuts in school funding.

Launching their combined assault, and plans to work together over coming months, in an article in the Observer, Morgan, Powell and Clegg say the biggest challenges for a country facing Brexit, digitisation and changes to the nature of work, are to boost skills, narrow the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their peers and boost social mobility. By picking a fight over plans to expand selection in schools, May will, they argue, sow division, divert resources away from where they are needed most and harm the causes she claims to be committed to advancing.

Before a debate in the Commons on social mobility this week, the three MPs say it is time to put aside political differences and fight instead for what is right. “We must rise to the challenge with a new national mission to boost education and social mobility for all,” they write. “That’s why we are putting aside what we disagree on, to come together and to build a cross-party consensus in favour of what works for our children – not what sounds good to politicians.”

fourcorneredcircle Sun 19-Mar-17 13:41:02

Huh, look at that. Nicky Morgan might have done something useful.

Clavinova Sun 19-Mar-17 13:54:11

The Guardian have clearly forgotten the piece they ran about Nick Clegg's choice of school for his own son;

So why does Nick Clegg send his own son to one of the only 'non-selective' state schools in England that offer Latin, Greek and Additional Maths GCSEs? Nicky Morgan is a committed Christian of course and regularly worships at a CofE church - faith school anyone?

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 14:02:50

four don't forget Nicky Morgan stood up to Theresa May when she was Home Secretary when she wanted schools to check passports as part of admissions.

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 14:20:32

So why does Nick Clegg send his own son to one of the only 'non-selective' state schools in England

Because it's a catholic school and his son is being raised catholic (part of the deal when you marry a catholic)?

If he was arguing against faith schools rather than grammars that might be relevant?

fourcorneredcircle Sun 19-Mar-17 14:49:47

Oh, alright... I concede Nicky Morgan might have done more than one useful thing grin

The fact that she wasn't Gove being another excellent example... wink

Clavinova Sun 19-Mar-17 15:00:02

Nick Clegg is an atheist himself and has chosen a school that offers a rigorously academic 'grammar school/independent school' style education for his son - at one of the very few state schools offering Greek and Additional Maths GCSEs. The school are able to offer these subjects because the intake of the pupils is 60% high achievers (73% in 2013 when the boy joined the school) - somewhat like a grammar school then.

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 15:01:01

And she got banned from No. 10 for criticising Theresa May's leather trousers, a view I think we could all agree on.

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 15:04:00

Nick Clegg is an atheist himself

Then why are you attributing the choice of school to him and not his catholic wife? When he married Miriam Durantez-Gonzalez, he would have had to agree to raise their children catholic, it's part of the ceremony. That agreement would have come years before any thoughts of secondary schooling!

Bensyster Sun 19-Mar-17 15:08:56

I thought quite a few state schools offer additional maths GCSE - all the Comps do in our town - maybe that's because we are currently Grammar free!

HPFA Sun 19-Mar-17 15:13:55

It would be irrelevant to the discussion if Nick Clegg sent his son to Eton!! Should be focussing on the evidence.

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 15:17:52

Don't forget, HPFA you can't criticise grammars if you went to a grammar/private or if your parents went to a grammar/private, or if you send/sent your kids to a grammar even if you live in a grammar system. That hasn't shut enough people up so the ban now extends to Faith schools.

The evidence is irrelevant.

CauliflowerSqueeze Sun 19-Mar-17 15:18:30

Nick Clegg and Nicky Morgan both attended selective private schools themselves. I wonder why they focus their attention on not eliminating the thousands of private schools rather than attacking state schools.

Tissunnyupnorth Sun 19-Mar-17 15:19:50

Raising your child Catholic does not mean you HAVE to choose a Catholic school. Unless of course that Catholic school is an extremely competitive, exclusive and academic school. Do you really think Clegg and wife would have chosen a Catholic school if their choice had been a local failing one???

Many families manage to practice their Catholicism without attending a Catholic school.

Devilishpyjamas Sun 19-Mar-17 15:33:55

I really want to go to a college alumni event with both Theresa May and Nicky Morgan in attendance (both alumni of my college). I'd be hoping for some sort of pissed bar brawl.....

Devilishpyjamas Sun 19-Mar-17 15:34:30

Sorry I know that was off topic. Their mutual dislike intrigues me.

GreenGinger2 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:04:07

So one type of selection is ok for Clegg but not another.confused

Wonder if Diane Abbot and Tony Blair helped them write it.hmm

GreenGinger2 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:06:06

Actually a double whammy of selection in Clegg's case- religion and wealth(wonder what house prices are like in the catchment area of his school of choice).

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 16:09:06

Would anyone care to engage with the argument they put forward? It is pointless to wonder why they have not joined forces to oppose private schools or faith schools when neither of those options are even remotely near the table while opening more grammars is.

GreenGinger2 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:20:28

Soooooo what are they suggesting instead?

Lottery places?

noblegiraffe Sun 19-Mar-17 16:23:37

Did you not read their letter? It's linked to in the OP.

GreenGinger2 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:29:26

No have to admit being lectured by MPs who benefited from a private education alongside using their choices of selection to benefit their privileged children kind of lost me.

Will read it now.

HPFA Sun 19-Mar-17 16:30:55

Silly me Noble and of course you're not allowed to oppose grammars if your children go to a good comp (even though the majority are good).

I'm actually reassured that a poster on the other grammar thread managed to word an incredibly polite request for people to consider the evidence and still didn't manage to get a response!

And just for the fun of it:

There are 163 grammars in this country and three (possibly 4 if you include Lincs - some do and some don't) wholly selective counties. Contrary to popular myth they are not all in wealthy areas, they exist along the Kent coast, Skegness, Boston - all quite deprived areas.This is enough for us to make a proper evidence based decision about them. If these counties do not show a benefit to the majority of children over similar non-selective ones then there is no case for re-introducing selection.

GreenGinger2 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:36:23

Not seeing any suggestions only whining how bright kids are needed in comps to do the job the gov and schools should be doing themselves.

Love the way Nick Clegg tells us to send our kids to any old school to,pull it up by it's boot straps but his kids go to a school in a £2 million catchment area( London Oratory,Fulham)that also selects by religion.

Just a tad hypocritical.

GreenGinger2 Sun 19-Mar-17 16:44:51

HPFA I have considered the evidence on both a local level and a national level.Our local school near our grammars has progress 8 in the top 5%. It is in one of the areas that will benefit from the new funding formula and has hugely more pp kids than the national average.The comp my DC should attend which is in a lower than national average pp area and is over 30 miles from any grammar has below the national average progress 8 score.

On a national,level there is NI to look at.

The above was pointed out to you as was the fact that the Kent model isn't being mooted, the Kent model doesn't speak for all grammar areas and life does exist beyond London and the SE.

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