Return of the Grammar School?

Labour Leader Cllr Mick Lerry looks at the Tory plans to bring back Grammar schools
Labour Leader Cllr Mick Lerry looks at the Tory plans to bring back Grammar schools

The Government is now prepared to “roll back the years” with the introduction of more Grammar schools. Where Grammar schools exist at the moment in places such as Kent many of the Secondary Modern schools are in Special Measures and finding it difficult to recruit qualified teachers. The Government will have to accept, that with the return of selection for Grammar schools other schools in the area will become Secondary Modern, because of the different intake of pupils. Yet the Government refuses to acknowledge that Secondary Modern schools will exist.

What would this mean for Bridgwater and Somerset. Well first of all you would have to decide which Comprehensive school should become a Grammar school or you would have to build a new Grammar school. The impact would then would be that many local students and pupils would have to walk by the their nearest local school, now deemed as a Grammar school, to attend the nearest Secondary Modern school and in many cases these pupils would have to be transported to their nearest Secondary Modern school. In certain rural areas there is only one local Comprehensive School, it might call itself an Academy School, but it is still a Comprehensive School, with non-selection at 11 years of age. So the introduction of Grammar schools in Bridgwater and Somerset would cause a massive reorganization of the provision of education for local pupils, parents and carers.

 Strong Opposition

Mick Lerry
Cllr Mick Lerry (Victoria,Labour) is the leader of the opposition on Sedgemoor

Education Secretary, Justine Greening, will publish a consultation paper today on the education changes outlined by the Prime Minister. During that consultation process it will be important for pupils, parents and carers to really understand what the impact of Grammar schools could mean for education provision in Bridgwater and Somerset. Unfortunately this Government has decided to mess around with the structures of education and schools, rather than investing in smaller classes in Primary schools and the problem or teacher shortage. There is strong opposition to the return of the Grammar schools system, which will not lead to greater mobility for the many, even with the introduction of pupils from poor families being included in the quota of pupils to be selected. Where Grammar schools exist now only a small percentage of pupils are on free school meals. Once again the Conservative government is turning to a policy of elitism in education, rather than tackling the real issues to help social mobility for pupils and students.


Education is about great leadership and qualified teachers well resourced and working as a team, supported by parents and pupils, without being distracted by another educational structural change. Comprehensive education in Bridgwater and Somerset has led to an efficient, economic education system, giving greater mobility for the many, not the few. It is more important for pupils and students to be able to attend their local high performing Comprehensive school.

During the consultation process Somerset County Council will need to take a political position and say no to the introduction of Grammar schools, as it did to the policy of forced Academisation of Primary schools, by the previous Secretary of State for education.

Cllr Mick Lerry

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Wes Hinckes
Wes Hinckes
7 years ago

Well said Mick. Very informative.

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