Barking and Dagenham Council to stand against ‘segregating’ grammar schools
PUBLISHED: 16:30 26 January 2017
Councillors have pledged to lobby against the return of grammar schools to the borough.
Barking and Dagenham Council voted unanimously in favour of standing against the reversal of the 20-year long ban on creating new selective state schools.
Proposing the motion at Barking Town Hall last night, Cllr Margaret Mullane said changing the status of schools would be a “waste of time”.
“There is no evidence that they increase social mobility,” she held. “These schools have only ever served the needs of the few.”
Mrs May announced in September that new grammar schools could be reintroduced to local authorities across the UK.
But former Mayor and teacher, Cllr Elizabeth Kangethe, said by doing so they would be “dividing the future of the borough”.
“We do not want this happening,” she said. “It is not inclusive and I can tell you most of the big teacher unions are against this.”
Cllr Evelyn Carpenter, who seconded the motion at the full assembly meeting, told how her brothers’ lives were “blighted” by attending a secondary modern rather than a grammar school, which “benefit a privileged few and damage the education of the rest”.
Council leader, Cllr Darren Rodwell, added: “We are united in condemning the plans.
“They will segregate children in our borough, providing a privileged education for a few and a second class education for the rest. We will not stand for segregation in our schools.”
Councillors will now write to the Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Education to lobby against the reintroduction.
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