Theresa May is so ashamed of one of her flagship policies – on grammar schools – that she hasn’t mentioned them by name in the manifesto. But while it is clear that she is still committed to funding selective education, May must realise how unpopular they are. Because the word “grammar” does not appear in the manifesto [pdf] once.
You’re so vain
Theresa May likes grammar schools. She likes them so much that when she first launched her policy she mentioned them 16 times in her speech. It’s therefore strange that they do not appear in the manifesto.
But a lot’s changed this then. Jeremy Corbyn branded them May’s “vanity project”. And the National Association of Headteachers condemned the policy. Meanwhile schools have been hitting the headlines with real-terms cuts meaning teacher redundancies, cutting of essential services and headteachers at outstanding schools having to write begging letters to parents.
And in March 2017, Education Secretary Justine Greening was booed when she outlined the party’s grammar school plans at the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) conference. Malcolm Trobe, interim General Secretary of ASCL, stated:
People who work in grammars do a very good job, but there is no evidence that increasing the amount of selection will increase social mobility or the overall education standards across the country. Therefore we believe that increasing the number of selective schools should not happen. Do not increase selection because the evidence base is that it will not have the desired effect.
It’s all in the fine print
But nothing’s changed. May is still planning to re-introduce grammar schools. She’s just hiding it a bit. The manifesto [pdf] states:
We will lift the ban on the establishment of selective schools, subject to conditions, such as allowing pupils to join at other ages as well as eleven.
Pouring money into new selective schools will do nothing to alleviate the crisis facing education. Our schools are suffering under the Tories. And a return to grammar schools is not the answer.
But if there’s any doubt over which party would best serve schools, just listen to the headteachers who run them. They gave Corbyn a standing ovation.
– Register to vote in the 8 June general election.
– Discuss the key policy issues with family members, colleagues and neighbours. And organise! Join (and participate in the activities of) a union, an activist group, and/or a political party.
-Also read more Canary articles on the 2017 general election.
Featured image via Flickr
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?