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.

View all 13 updates ›

Welsh Lib Dems: Children would be cast aside at 14

The Welsh Liberal Democrats say proposals, from the Welsh Conservatives, to reintroduce elements of the grammar school system here would just "see children cast aside when they're 14", rather than 11.

Aled Roberts says creating more grammar schools would "extend the attainment gap between pupils from affluent and less affluent backgrounds".

Once again the Welsh Tories are throwing around policy ideas without any idea how they would implement them.

They are refusing to operate in the here and now, instead reflecting on their rose-tinted Tory view of the past when many children were written off at 11. Their current proposal would instead see children cast aside when they’re 14.

A recent report showed that the odds of pupils entitled to free school meals securing a place at a grammar school were nearly five times lower than for other pupils.

Creating more grammar schools would merely extend the attainment gap that already exists between pupils from affluent and less affluent backgrounds.

Wales needs to target efforts on raising teaching standards and further restructuring would simply distract these efforts.

There are real practical difficulties with this proposals, particularly in rural areas. We believe, as a principle, that there is no difficulty in pupils of all abilities achieving their potential under the comprehensive system as long as the proper processes are in place to keep standards high.

– Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Education

More top news