May’s Election Could Reverse 50 Years Of Progress In Education
U.K. will have a snap election in June, which could reverse 50 years of progress in education.
Within weeks of Theresa May’s appointment as prime minister, UK chancellor Philip Hammond announced the creation of the first new £536m education spending package for selective secondary schools or grammar schools for more than 50 years.
The proposals are certain to be included in the Conservative manifesto for the forthcoming election, which will make it difficult to get the votes needed to defeat them.
The upshot is that new selective schools are now almost certain to be given the go-ahead within the next 12 months.
Advocates of grammar schools fail to acknowledge that more grammar schools means more schools filled with lower-performing children. These schools inevitably struggle to attract the best teachers, but instead attract a stigma that often stays with students. These students also tend to be those from more disadvantaged families.
Ministers suggest making selective schools available for all and providing a level playing field, but the evidence shows that is not the case. However, wealthier families who pay for tutors to help their children pass exams have a clear advantage.
Few political leaders can have gone into an election pledging to make education worse, but that is exactly what Theresa May is doing.
Tragically, with all the noise over Brexit, this is unlikely that it will get any attention.