Radical plans to open new grammar schools have been leaked on the steps of Downing Street.
In a hugely embarrassing revelation, the confidential proposals to increase the number of selective schools were caught on camera by a photographer.
The memo, written by the most senior civil servant in the Department for Education, reveals that a new consultation document for Education Secretary Justine Greening will include the option of “new grammars”.
But the memo, by Permanent Secretary Jonathan Slater, warns that the Lords will only vote for the controversial plan if existing grammars can show that they can expand first without harming the poorest.
The paper states:
“The con doc [consultation document] says we will open new grammars, albeit that they would have to follow various conditions.
“The SoS’s [Secretary of State’s] clear position is that this should be presented in the con doc as an option, and only to be pursued once we have worked with existing grammars to show how they can be expanded and reformed in ways which avoid disadvantaging those who don’t get in.
“I simply don’t know what the PM thinks of this, but it sounds reasonable to me, and I simply can’t see any way of persuading the Lords to vote for selection on any other basis.”
State grammars select pupils at the age of 11 but while they often produce excellent results, the question of what happens to those who fail to be selected has dogged British politics since comprehensives were introduced in the 1960s and 1970s.
England’s first ‘new’ grammar for 50 years in Sevenoaks, Kent, was only approved last year as an ‘annexe’ to an existing school thanks to what teaching unions and Labour view as a loophole in the law.
The person carrying the document to Tuesday’s meeting appeared to be Earl Howe, deputy Lords leader, but he has denied that it was him.
HuffPost now understands that the man in the photo is Slater himself.
Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2016/09/06/new-grammar-schools-leaked-document-justine-greening-photo_n_11874140.html?utm_hp_ref=uk-politics&ir=UK+Politics