Charles Clarke will speak today at a fringe meeting organised by Comprehensive Future and the Socialist Education Association. He will hear from a parent in Skipton, which has two grammar schools, about the reality of selection in this part of North Yorkshire.

Graeme Hitchen, parent from Skipton  will say –

‘The children from the poor areas stand little chance of getting into the grammars. The ballot is unworkable and denying a vote to those most likely to benefit from the ending of selection. Selection does not raise standards, it lowers them’.

The meeting will hear from speakers from Scotland and Wales, where there is no selection. They will show up the stark contrast with England where selection remains the everyday experience for many children, affecting as many as 20% of English school children.

Speaking at the meeting in addition to Charles Clarke and Graeme Hitchen will be David Chaytor MP for Bury North, Chair of Comprehensive Future, from Wales Neil Foden NUT executive and from Scotland Anne Begg MP for Aberdeen South.




  • The meeting is at 6pm at the Norfolk Royale Hotel, Richmond Hill, Bournemouth, refreshments on Tuesday 30th September
  • Comprehensive Future is a group of Labour party members concerned that after six years of a Labour government as many, or possibly more, children face selection for secondary education as did before Labour was elected. Comprehensive Future wishes to see an end to selection both by ability and aptitude.
  • Labour’s National Policy Forum Consultation Document “The Best Education for All” published in January this year asks the question “How can we ensure the principles and strengths of the comprehensive system are reflected in a more diverse system”? Comprehensive Future campaign aims for a response to this consultation opposing selection by aptitude and ability. The Comprehensive Future website www.comprehensivefuture.local has its submission to this first stage of the consultation.
  • The Socialist Education Association is the only educational association affiliated to the Labour Party. It is concerned with all areas of education: early years, primary and secondary, FE and He and continuing education.