Steve Mastin, Vice President of the Conservative Education Society, and Director of Opening Worlds, has agreed to join CF as a patron. We are delighted to welcome such an enthusiastic advocate for comprehensive education. Steve recently wrote for Schools Week about the problems with academic selection and why the 11-plus has to end. He pointed out, “Whenever I hear an argument in favour of grammars, I ask the proponent to stop and make the case for secondary moderns first. Because, as Nick Gibb has long pointed out, schools near a grammar de facto become secondary moderns.”
Grammar schools are supported by some Conservative proponents because they feel they increase choice and diversity within the schools system, but Steve says, “For those who say it is all about parental choice, I say this: no parent chooses to send his or her child to a grammar school. The grammar school chooses the children, and the vast majority will be rejected. Levelling down for our children is not a serious option.”
Steve recently spoke about 11-plus selection at the Time’s Up for the Test launch, suggesting it is fundamentally unconservative” to support grammar schools.