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NEC Statement - Grammar school
The Liberal Party is fundamentally and robustly opposed to a revival of the Grammar school system whereby young people are segregated at an early age into schools for achievement and schools for the underclass.

We note that early segregation advantages those young people born into families with educational professional backgrounds and acts as a barrier to young children of all backgrounds who may be late developers.

Like previous intensions to expand Academy schools, this move was not part of the government’s electoral manifesto, and is being couched in such language as to avoid legislation prohibiting such institutions.

The Liberal Party affirms its believe that educational opportunity is vital to a vibrant society and growing economy and should be open to all irrespective of social background.

As such the party opposes such proposals, as it does private education, as it distracts from a level playing field in education and does not provide opportunity for all or social mobility.

The Liberal Party would therefore look to work with all likeminded progressive opinion whilst promoting an inclusive and properly funded state education system fit for all.
Selection on the basis of ability is not fundamentally bad. The problem with the old grammar school system was that it was a single point selection on a single test of ability. There are academically selected streamed school systems that work well. The Dutch system is an example. However, these do allow for transfer from the 'lower' level schools to the 'higher' level school if the attainment of the student is sufficient to warrant it. It also has provision for a student to drop down from a higher to a lower level school.

A big problem with the old Grammar school system was it was seen as the 'Gateway' school to university. If you did not go to grammar school or public school, even if you got the required A levels it was difficult to get into university, you went to polytechnic. Any change to the school system must ensure that there are routes to university from any school in the system.

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