18 October 2016


This evening, a group of parents from selective areas will meet with MPs at the House of Commons to talk about their personal experiences of the damage caused by selection.

The meeting is timed to coincide with a champagne reception hosted by Graham Brady MP for grammar school heads from around the country.

Melissa Benn, Chair of Comprehensive Future who are organising the meeting, said:
“Tens of thousands of families around the country are already affected by selective education. They know what the 11-plus and parallel schooling tracks mean in practice. But in the fevered debate over government plans to expand grammar schools, their voices are not being heard. We thought that MPs should have the opportunity to listen to these families’ stories and to learn why rolling out further grammar schools across the country is not the answer to the challenges that our education system faces.”

Rebecca Hickman, of Bucks anti-selection group Local Equal Excellent said:
“On Friday, in Buckinghamshire, over 6000 children found out that they had failed the 11-plus test. There is something unseemly about grammar school heads quaffing champagne in parliament, when so many children have just been left crushed by the results of an unfair test in an unjust system. We are grateful that there are some MPs who want to hear about their experiences too.”

Joanne Bartley, of Kent Education Network said:
“As a parent in Kent I see the many problems with our county’s 11-plus system, from pressure to tutor, to stress for children, to issues with schools that aren’t quite the same as comprehensive schools. I can’t believe that anyone would want a school system that causes so much unhappiness to families and that ranks ten-year-old children by scores and makes them feel they are less clever than their friends. Even families on low incomes will pay for tutors to try to ‘win’ a good secondary school place for their child – which is a terrible waste of money, and is even more distressing for a child who fails and then feels they have let their family down.”

The meeting between parents and MPs will take place on Tuesday 18th October, from 6pm to 6.45pm, in Committee Room 14 in the House of Commons.