McGinn: Grammer school plan a regressive step

St Helens North MP Conor McGinn

St Helens North MP Conor McGinn

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A St Helens MP has slammed the Prime Minister’s performance defending the Government’s policy of reintroducing grammar schools.

Conor McGinn, whose constituency includes Billinge, Garswood and Haydock, said Theresa May failed to address any of the issues raised by MPs.

Prime Minister Theresa May wants to reintroduce grammar schools

Prime Minister Theresa May wants to reintroduce grammar schools

“Theresa May just performed terribly at Prime Minister’s Questions on the issue of grammar schools,” said the Labour MP for St Helens North. “She didn’t answer a single question.

“The reintroduction of grammar schools would be a huge step backwards. I want opportunity for all our children – not just a select few.

“All the evidence shows selection does not work and that local education authorities that have selection in schools have a wider attainment gap than areas that do not have it.

“These days, those parents with money can tutor their children to help get them into grammar schools. Children from less well off backgrounds do not get into grammar schools in large numbers.

“All the evidence suggests that the regressive step of reintroducing grammar schools would leave pupils from poorer families worse off.

“The areas where the attainment gap has closed most dramatically - particularly under the last Labour government - are areas where there are comprehensive schools.

“We should focus more on creating opportunity for all by spreading the good practice of the best comprehensives – not by creating an ‘us and them’ system of education that would be a disaster for social mobility.

“Theresa May’s grammar school plan is more about pandering to the pet projects of the Tory Party and her own backbenchers than offering real opportunities to the nation’s schoolchildren.

“Creating new grammar schools won’t help improve the life chances of children in St Helens. Only good schools and the hard work of our dedicated teachers and parents can offer young people the opportunities they need and deserve.”