Why is council pursuing elitist schools agenda?

Bethan Osborne

I read with interest the Advertiser’s coverage of MP Lucy Powell’s research into social mobility and the poor record of Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School in Marlow, where only 0.3% of students are eligible for free school meals. 

This report reinforces the message which the campaign group Excellent Education for Everyone in RBWM has been advising the council for over a year. Yet councillors are continuing with plans to bring a grammar school to the borough in spite of evidence which shows that selection increases the attainment gap between wealthier and poorer families and brighter children do just as well at comprehensive schools.

Our council has spent £20,000 on a feasibility report commissioned from consultants TPS which it will not release under FOI rules, £5,000 on satellite school discussions with the Marlow school and it has now written to the 163 remaining grammars across England to invite them to enter into partnership arrangements to introduce selection to the borough’s schools. All this is being done before the outcome of the Government consultation ‘Schools that work for everyone’ and any subsequent change in legislation required to enable a new stand-alone grammar school to be established. As a parent and council tax payer I expect resources and energy at the Town Hall to be directed to further supporting our existing schools to the benefit of all our children rather than pursuing this elitist agenda.

Bethan Osborne

Gringer Hill

Maidenhead

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