New Education Secretary Kit Malthouse confirms he is drawing up plans to END the 25 year ban on new grammar schools on the orders of Liz Truss to expand ‘parental choice’ of how their children are educated
Ministers are drawing up plans for the UK’s first grammar schools in almost a quarter of a century, the new Education Secretary said today.
Kit Malthouse said that PM Liz Truss wanted her government to ‘address the strong desire in quite a lot of parents’ for more choice.
There are more than 150 grammar schools which select pupils by ability in the UK but the opening of new ones was outlawed in 1998 by Tony Blair.
The issue has become a cause célèbre for many Tory MPs but despite several attempts to reintroduce them in the past 12 years nothing has happened.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Post today, Mr Malthouse said: ‘We’re about parental choice, everybody needs to be able to make a choice for their kids.
‘She (the Prime Minister) definitely wants to address the strong desire in quite a lot of parents to reflect the benefits that many got from grammar schools.’
But the idea was slammed by Labour, with his shadow Bridget Phillipson saying: ‘This is a distraction tactic from a desperate Government that has run out of ideas about how to tackle the challenges facing our country.
Kit Malthouse (left) said that PM Liz Truss wanted her government to ‘address the strong desire in quite a lot of parents’ for more choice.
Labour’s Bridget Phillipson said: ‘This is a distraction tactic from a desperate Government that has run out of ideas about how to tackle the challenges facing our country.
‘Grammars make up a tiny minority of schools, they don’t improve educational outcomes and parents don’t want them – they want the Education Secretary to raise standards across our comprehensive schools.
‘Labour will focus on ensuring all young people leave education with the skills they need for work and for life, which is why we will end tax breaks for private schools and invest the money in driving up standards across state schools.’
Ms Truss has described her self as a ‘huge supporter’ of selective grammars. She sent her children to one despite being educated at a state comprehensive and going to Oxford.
Last weekend, senior Tory backbencher Sir Graham Brady said he would seek to amend the Schools Bill to allow the building of new grammars.
He told the Sunday Telegraph: “What we are aiming to do is not something that would force a big reorganisation of the schools system across the country, but rather some thing which would remove the statutory prohibition which prevents any new selective schools,” he said.