As the government makes clear that it will go ahead with new generation of grammar schools if the Conservatives win the election on June 8th, Comprehensive Future today launched a new crowdfunding campaign to fight the plan.
A number of high-profile figures have pledged their support including authors Michael Morpurgo, Stella Duffy and Michael Rosen. They are joined by leading academics including Professor Becky Francis, head of the UCL/ Institute of Education, Professor Danny Dorling of Oxford university and Dr Brian Apter, Chair of the Division of Educational and Child Psychology, British Psychological Society.
Melissa Benn, chair of Comprehensive Future, said, ‘The government is committed to expanding selective education, despite clear evidence that grammar schools educate few children from poorer backgrounds, damage other local schools, and subject thousands of children to stressful, life-defining, tests when they are only 10. We are appealing for funds to raise public and political awareness about what exactly the government’s proposals will mean for the nation’s schools and families.’
Children’s author Michael Morpurgo, who failed the 11-plus, said: ‘The 11 plus exam creates many more failures than successes. I was one of them. The test has set back the self-esteem and prospects of millions of us and many have not recovered from it. And just as important, it has created the us and them, the have and have-not society that still persists today.”
Theatre director and author Stella Duffy said, ‘We need to support our young people to not only dream big, but to achieve those big dreams, and that means creating the same opportunities for all. Selective schooling deliberately sets out to deny the best education to some children, privileging others’
Melissa Benn, chair of Comprehensive Future, added: ‘We are delighted that so many notable people are supporting our campaign and we expect this support only to grow. More selective schools mean unnecessary anxiety for parents, young people and teachers when all the evidence shows that well-funded, high- quality comprehensive education works for all.’
To donate to the Comprehensive Future campaign visit: