AGM 2013

Report of presentations at 2013 AGM

20  November 2013

 

Following the AGM there were presentations from Professor Peter Mortimore and Richy Thomson on fair admissions –  on the website at

http://comprehensivefuture.org.uk/fairness-in-education/

http://comprehensivefuture.org.uk/fair-admissions-and-faith-schools/

Some points raised in discussion were –

  •  The reluctance of Labour to tackle selection may arise from the previous Government’s position of following public opinion (focus groups) rather than leading it.  Also the education agenda was set by a few people. MPs in selective areas could welcome not having to deal with disappointed parents. We need to say now that a One Nation policy has to start with the schools.  Comprehensive Future needs to keep ‘banging away’ on its aim to end selection.
  • Polls indicate that the public does not support faith based admissions. Labour backed away from a position about requiring all faith schools to take a proportion of other faiths or none because of strong opposition from the then Archbishop.  The London Diocese does encourage an end to selective faith admissions but it is not strongly policed. If faith schools were to suddenly stop selecting on faith it would affect nearby schools markedly.
  • Seems to be an absence of parental opposition in areas where there are grammars – why? Parents aspire for grammar schools. The myth that only grammars are excellent still persists.
  • Random allocation has problems. Manchester experience of many years ago was that parents did not want to pass nearby schools on their way to other ones.  It breaks up communities even in urban areas. Schools function best when serve their local community. If random allocation were to be introduced siblings and twins have to be dealt with. Geographical areas would need to be drawn carefully.