82 per cent of teachers oppose new grammar schools, poll suggests

82 per cent of teachers, school leaders and heads oppose opening new grammar schools, according to the results of a new poll.

The poll was conducted by the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), the Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) and Teach First on behalf of the Fair Education Alliance and received over 2,500 responses from teachers, school leaders and heads across England.

While 82 per cent opposed opening new grammar schools, 80 per cent did not believe that a test administered at age 11 can reliably measure long-term academic potential and 85 per cent did not believe a test at age 11 can be insulated from non-academic factors such as parental engagement or income.

Additionally, respondents were critical of the evidence for the government’s new eduction plans, as 81 per cent said they believed there is no evidence for opening grammar schools and 79 per cent believed there is no evidence for increasing selection in education.

Following the survey, the Fair Education Alliance has launched a public petition calling on the government to scrap the proposed plans to open new grammar schools in England.

Russell Hobby, general secretary of the NAHT, said: “Increasing the number of grammar schools will lower standards and restrict opportunity. We cannot afford such an elitist policy in the twenty-first century - as many students as possible need a high quality academic education. This is a terrible distraction from the issues that matter most.”

Malcolm Trobe, interim general secretary of ASCL, said: “We don’t need more selection in the education system. What schools desperately need is enough teachers and enough funding, both of which are in critically short supply. The government should focus on these issues rather than obsessing about an education policy plucked from the 1950s. Our job is to work together to ensure the education system supports all young people to achieve.”

Brett Wigdortz, CEO and founder of Teach First, said: “We are united in our desire to improve social mobility, but it’s clear we must use proven policies to achieve this. We know great comprehensive schools and academies are delivering a stretching and ambitious education. We must aim to replicate this for every child, not selecting only a few to be supported to succeed, whilst leaving the majority behind.”

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