I am hoping to use this blog to encourage debate about Kent’s selective education system. At present there is no practical way for people to effect change.
The government has stated clearly, ‘The Government does not support selective education.’ (In reponse to the Education and Skills Select Committee Secondary Education Fifth Report of Session 2004–05.)
The same report discussed grammar school ballots, the only way to change the system, and described these as ‘unworkable.’ ‘The current arrangements for grammar school ballots demonstrate that the Government is not prepared to give all local parents a genuine opportunity to express an opinion on the kind of schools they want their children to attend. The present system does not work. It should therefore be withdrawn and replaced with new arrangements.’
So we’re left in limbo because the government hasn’t committed to a change in this process. In fact Kent’s in an odd situation in a lot of ways because parents are pressing for new Grammar schools but these are not allowed by law because the government doesn’t support selective schools.
My preference for an outcome to all this would be a Kent education referendum. It’s quite likely that the people would choose selective education, but I hope any debate about education and the pros and cons of this system would be healthy and lead to positive changes.
I have a few plans, which may or not lead anywhere…
- A petition seeking a referendum
- Pressing for changes to the grammar school ballot
- Getting involved with improving selective education, particularly the problem of tuition and bright low income kids not accepting grammar school places.
- Trying to get education on the agenda in Kent, with debate and discussions with the council
Of course I’m a busy working mum and I need to help my kids with their homework, so these ideas may be ambitious!
But if you’re reading this and want to get involved, have ideas, or want to write a post for the site please do get in touch.
I hope the people of Kent can have a say on our children’s education and make our schools the best that they can be.