Somerset Labour leader urges council to reject grammar schools

County Labour Leader Leigh Redman (Bridgwater South)
County Labour Leader Leigh Redman (Bridgwater South)

Labour’s leader on Somerset County Council, Cllr Leigh Redman will propose next week that the county should reject the government’s plan to allow the reintroduction of grammar schools. He says Theresa May’s idea of bringing back selection for 11 year-olds would be divisive and damaging.

 Cllr Redman is proposing a resolution to be debated at the next full meeting of Somerset County Council. It says:

“This Council is against the introduction of Grammar Schools proposed by the Government for the following reasons:

·         There is no evidence that they increase social mobility, indeed the contrary is true. These schools have only ever served the needs of the few and this county is determined to give all young people the opportunity to achieve academically.

·         The return of grammar schools would introduce divisive selection when what is required is an inclusive, strategically planned education system that enables every child to thrive, learn and prosper and allows local industry and businesses to benefit from the outcomes of Somerset young people.

·         The council needs to be able to continue to play a full part in providing good schools where and when they are required in the county. Changing the status of schools and introducing selection will be a waste of time and resources of this Council, as well as detracting schools from producing good outcomes for all and being able to recruit and retain the best teachers.

Accordingly, council will write to the Secretary of State for Education and the Prime Minister urging them not to allow the introduction of such schools in Somerset.”

 The council meeting next Wednesday (November 30th) is open to the public and starts at 10 a.m. People who believe in ‘education not segregation’ can meet Labour Members protesting outside County Hall at 9.30 and then attend the meeting.

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Clare Kellett
7 years ago

Education unions (including mine, ATL) will be supporting this motion. There’s no evidence that grammar schools improve outcomes, but positively harm those excluded from them. There’s no such thing as a tutor-proof test, and tutoring can cost £2000 a year. The evidence is there from counties that still have grammar schools. Let’s hope that Somerset once again defends its children and young people – all of them.

george macpherson
george macpherson
7 years ago

Well done! I agree – and I hope you win.
Yours George Macpherson

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