repeats Meaningless Gestures
As with the previous year, in
December 2002 grammar school opponents asked the ballot company
to draw up “constituencies” of parents eligible to
sign petitions and vote in any subsequent ballot. This caused
unnecessary work for school staff and expense to the Government,
when all along it appeared that they had no intention to actually
Instead, they have continued to act more covertly. We have responded
where necessary and appropriate correspondence can be read on
our web-site .
Review of Secondary
Education in Kent and
Last year, Dr Ladyman, MP for
Thanet South commissioned Professor David Jesson to review the
structure and performance of secondary schools.
Their report, based on a single year’s statistics, was critical
of the selective system but did not stand up to close scrutiny.
This was not surprising as both men have a long record of opposition
to grammar schools. Our Press Release of 19 th July 2002 about
this report is on the web-site.
Request of Members
Your Committee is grateful for your continuing support,
but to add weight to our cause we would ask everybody to
recruit at least one new member.
Suitable material is enclosed.
Labour Plot to Abolish
In January, a group of Labour
MPs, led by David Chaytor MP for Bury North and Frank Dobson,
launched an attack on grammar schools and Kent was singled out
as an example of why the selective system does not work, citing
a report written for the new Education Secretary. This had identified
weaknesses in some high schools in the county, but they ignored
the acknowledgement in the report that the more academic children
achieved balance at the top end. It is the intention of this
Labour Group to have a clause in the next Labour Manifesto about
the abolition of selective education
Child Poverty and
A paper recently issued by End
Child Poverty, a charity supported by Save the Children and the
NSPCC amongst others, has called for the Government to remove
all types of selection within the maintained school system.
Their argument is that the learning gap between children from
rich and poor families is greater in areas where grammar schools
survive. We would question that because we believe that selective
education helps to alleviate child poverty because it fosters
the principle of opportunity for all able children.
SKS Address and
Please note our new address
as shown at the foot and our new telephone number of
What does Charles Clarke
We have to admit that the relatively
new Education Secretary confuses us as his public announcements
do seem to indicate a certain ambivalence towards selective
education. He has been reported in the press as being supportive
of both of the initiatives mentioned in the middle column and
yet in a visit to Kent at the beginning of April he was reported
to have said “Your grammar schools are safe”. He
is also reported to have had separate talks with grammar school
heads and opponents of the 11 Plus, with both sides reportedly
happy with the outcome of their discussions! As we said, we
are confused and so we, too, have sought a meeting with Mr Clarke
and this is due to take place on Monday 12 th May.
Hopefully, thereafter we will have a clearer understanding of
any challenges we will need to meet in the future .
Support Kent Schools Annual General
Members will find notice of
this year’s AGM, to be held on 22 nd May, enclosed with
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