Comprehensive Future campaigns for a national system of comprehensive schools, publicly accountable to parents and their local community. We support fair admissions policies designed to give an equal chance to every child to develop their full potential and achieve at the highest level.
We believe that the use of academic selection as a means of entry to secondary school is unfair, outdated, socially divisive and damaging to the self-esteem of too many children.
All available evidence indicates that the results of 11-plus testing can be arbitrary and heavily dependent on parents’ capacity to pay for private tuition. The effects of the test almost always discriminate against children from poorer families, waste individual potential and diminish overall levels of national achievement.
Comprehensive Future also recognises that wholly, or partially, selective policies in a minority of schools have encouraged the growth of ingenious forms of covert selection.
England has a hierarchical system of secondary schools in contrast to those countries with the highest levels of educational attainment. A child’s future in England depends more on the school they attend than in almost any other advanced country.
We call on all political parties, therefore, to agree as a matter of urgency;
1. to commit to end 11 plus testing by a specified date and to propose a mechanism, and timescale, for local consultation on the most effective means of managing the transition to a fully comprehensive system of secondary schools
2. to publish a new School Admissions Code, with which all publicly funded schools must comply, describing best practice in admissions policies.