14 July 2016

Comprehensive Future, the cross party group committed to high quality, all-ability schools and fair admissions to all England’s schools, has welcomed the appointment of Justine Greening as Secretary of State for Education.

Speaking today, the Chair of Comprehensive Future, writer Melissa Benn said:

“Justine Greening has been rightly hailed as the first Conservative comprehensively educated politician to be appointed to the top job in education.

It is a significant individual achievement but it is also a reflection of a new generation of politicians and figures in public life who have been educated at comprehensive schools now moving to the top of our society.

All but one of the candidates in the recent Tory leadership campaign were state educated at secondary level and Stephen Crabb made special mention, in his launch statement, of his ‘fabulous education at a really good comprehensive school across the road from the Council house where I lived’.

Times are changing. The hostility to all-ability schooling still entrenched in parts of our elite is finally giving way to a recognition of the importance, and benefits, of a good schooling for all.

Social mobility no longer depends on a grammar school education, with the evidence overwhelmingly showing that where grammar schools still exist they favour the already affluent, and often the privately educated, above those from working class or ethnic backgrounds.

We therefore call on Justine Greening to use her power and influence as Education Secretary to promote high quality education for all and stem any attempt to return to widespread academic selection.

By so doing, she will best build the foundations for the achievements of the next generation.”