Conservative Party Conference: Education

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By Guest Writer
on 09 October, 2016

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What does education look like after the Conservative Party Conference?

Education Secretary, Justine Greening, gave her speech at the Conservative Party conference this week trying to provide reassurance that the government’s policies are not going to take us back to the days of being categorised as winners and losers at 11 years old.

Plans are still vague, and it’s difficult to see how they won't end up excluding the vast majority of children. Reducing the attainment difference between rich and poor is not about reducing the difference in one selective school, but reducing it across a whole community, region and nation.

Theresa May gave away little more on The Andrew Marr Show explaining the government’s vision for selective education being only a part of a "very broad-based education system" and one where she will “be saying to grammar schools and people who want to set up a new selective school, actually if you're doing that we will want you to show that you are genuinely reaching out across society in giving those opportunities to young people."

Ms Greening also announced her plan for investment in social mobility in six targeted areas of the country to provide children and young people with: knowledge and skills; the right advice; and great life experiences. ASCL’s Malcolm Trobe responded by commenting that schools cannot resolve the entrenched issues of social mobility alone, making a plea for full consultation.

It’s going to be an interesting six months in education political corridors, but it is unlikely to affect schools directly for some time. Meanwhile schools and organisations, like One Education, will get on with the day job and continue to improve outcomes for children and reduce attainment differences.

Authored by Jane Sowerby

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