Thursday, 12 November 2015

England Needs More Grammar Schools By Christopher Hope

England should build more grammar schools, one of the country’s foremost industrialists has said.
Juergen Maier, the chief executive of Siemens UK, told the CBI conference that schools had “to give people the hope and aspiration that they can be absolutely brilliant in society”.
However the idea was knocked down straightaway by Nicky Morgan, the Education secretary, who said she was "not going to fight the battles of the past".
Asked if he was “in favour of bringing back grammars”, he replied: “I am actually.”
Later Mr Maier, which runs a business that employs 14,000 staff in the UK that had £5billion sales in 2014, said: “I just think that a duel approach is a pretty good system.
“We have labelled them grammar schools, what I was really talking about is an approach that says at a certain age you are more destined for an academic route.
“And then you start to measure the success slightly differently – that is a lot of what we were talking about."
There comes a point where if you put too much pressure on kids purely academically when clearly their interest is in a more practical type, then you should measure it in a different way.
“You are not differentiating really – you are saying ‘that is what you are going to excel at, and that is what you are going to excel at’. Both are totally absolutely valuable.”
However, speaking at the same conference in central London, Mrs Morgan said she was not keen on bringing back more grammar schools.
Asked if she were a “fan” of the schools, she said: “No we've been very clear were not going to return to a selective system because frankly I'm not going to fight the battles of the past.
“I want all schools to be stretching the most able. That's one of the reasons we're moving to measuring by progress to make sure schools are stretching the most able and helping those who are struggling.”
Last month Mrs Morgan approved a new satellite grammar school extension several miles from an existing grammar school in Kent.
Mrs Morgan said the decision was a one-off – but Labour was quick to argue that the decision would open the floodgates to new grammar schools around England.

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