Focus on the choice all residents want

Gareth Ebenezer

Despite recent personal assurances by Cllr Simon Dudley to Maidenhead residents  there would not be a grammar school in Maidenhead, it seems the subject is back on the agenda at RBWM.

The introduction of selective secondary education in Maidenhead would be extremely damaging to its excellent existing comprehensives, and to the next generation of school children in the town.

Maidenhead's schools all face the challenge of growing and improving in an area where property prices preclude many on a teacher's salary. The artificial introduction of a grammar school to the town would make recruitment even harder and, as analysis of the data from Bucks and elsewhere shows, would improve neither academic performance nor social mobility.

As for 'parental choice', this would be greatly diminished, as 85-90 per cent of secondary school pupils would immediately be relegated to de facto secondary modern schools – no additional 'choice' is provided in a two-tier education system, and to suggest otherwise is, at best, disingenuous.

A bold, forward-thinking council would focus on the only choice that residents want – to be able to send their child to an excellent local comprehensive school which provides an outstanding education and opportunities for everyone.

Gareth Ebenezer

Cannon Court Road

Maidenhead

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