Conservative policy on grammar schools

The commentariat - even the smartest of them - seems to be having great difficulty understanding the Conservative Party's perfectly simple and consistent policy on grammar schools.

Take this article by Tim Hames. I get that he does not agree with Conservative policy, but why the attempt to pretend it is complicated or that it has morphed through several U-turns when there is a simple single sentence description that sums it up?

Conservative policy is that there should be no extension of selection.

Simple, huh? Difficult to understand? Not really. Anyone capable of sitting, let alone passing, the 11-plus could follow it.

So no new grammar schools or secondary moderns in those areas that are currently comprehensive. But if areas such as Buckinghamshire need new schools for demographic reasons or to replace any that are falling apart they would, obviously, be grammar schools or secondary moderns as appropriate. Anything else would be a commitment gradually to abolish the existing grammars, which is something that neither Cameron nor Willets ever said.

No change there, then. No change from the recent speech by David Willetts. No change from the policies of John Major or Margaret Thatcher in 18 years of government. It is significantly different from policies promised, but not implemented, by John Major. It is significantly different from Margaret Thatcher's policies when she was Education Secretary, and actively abolishing existing grammars. But no real change on Conservative policies in practice over the past 30 years.

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