September 9th 2016
North Thanet's MP Sir Roger Gale has this (Friday) morning welcomed the Prime Minister's statement that, as part of her social inclusion policy, more selective schools offering a wider choice of education for young people will be permitted.
"Outside Kent" says grammar school educated Sir Roger "and even in parts of this County selection exists by postcode. It is particularly true in London that those with the resources, including some Labour politicians, move into the catchment areas of outstanding schools while others who are less advantaged, have to make do with second best.
It is wrong to suggest, as the Chief Inspector of Schools, Sir Michael Willshaw has suggested, that the creation of Grammar Schools leads to the re-establishment of 'secondary modern schools'. That has simply not happened in Kent where there is a wide selection of Grammar Schools, High Schools, Academies and Free Schools at secondary level. Given the safeguards proposed by the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State to ensure that Grammar School places are available to children from low income families and those who do not choose to pay for private pre-test tuition I would hope and expect that these proposals will receive wide public and political support.
Locally I have long campaigned for a coastal Grammar School to be located in Herne Bay. It is ludicrous that hundreds of children from the coastal towns of Canterbury have to be bussed to Faversham, Canterbury or Thanet to receive the selective education to which they are entitled and I hope that we shall be able to take advantage of the Government's policy to make Grammar School education available locally. I still hope that The Headteacher of Barton Court will be allowed to be instrumental in making this happen."