1. Wales

Tories' grammar schools call

The Welsh Conservatives have called for the reintroduction of grammar schools to the education system here in Wales. They say streaming should happen at 14, not at 11, and vocational skills must have the same value as academic skills.

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Union: Plans 'raise more questions than they answer'

The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT) Cymru says it is concerned that the Welsh Conservatives' proposals for a return to a grammar school system "raise more questions than they answer."

This is an intriguing development and quite a departure in a Welsh context where grammar schools are a distant memory for most.

At this point these proposals raise more questions than they answer - pupils need solid qualifications in academic disciplines too, notably English/Welsh and mathematics. It is not clear where these would fit under these proposals.

We are already moving to a Welsh Baccalaureate model which would seek to offer pupils an academic or a vocational route, all under the Welsh Bacc umbrella. Do these plans feature in this model?

The grammar school system is remembered positively by those who benefitted from it; that same system disenfranchised very many of our young people.

Ultimately the test for us will be what system can give all pupils the best opportunity to learn and prosper. We will study the detail of these proposals from that starting point.

– Anna Brychan, Director of NAHT Cymru

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