Grammars won’t improve social mobility for ‘the vast majority’, ASCL warns

The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) has warned that plans to lift the ban on opening new grammar schools in England ‘may improve social mobility for a very small number of disadvantaged children, but not for the vast majority’.

Speaking at a fringe event at the Conservative Party Conference, Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of the ASCL, stressed that the country needs education solutions ‘which help the many, not the few’.

Launching an attack on the proposed return to selection, Trobe suggested the move was based on ‘nostalgia’ and claimed it ‘makes no sense’ as modern education policy.

He said: “Today, we need as many people as possible to have the high-order knowledge and skills that enable us to compete on a world stage, not an educated elite.

“The answer is to ensure that as many children as possible have access to an academically rigorous curriculum which gives them a sound platform on which to base their future educational and career choices.”

Trobe also criticised the English Baccalaureate, warning that it ‘covers too narrow a range of subjects and contains too little choice’, which is damaging creative and technical subjects that are ‘of crucial importance to our economy’.

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