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This House Would Reintroduce Grammar Schools
February 5, 2015 @ 5:00 pm / 6:30 pm
Grammar schools, dominant in the UK until the 1960s, ran under a system of selective education. At age 11 all school students would be given a general intelligence exam. If a student passed they would gain entrance to a more academically based grammar school. If they failed they would be sent to a school focusing more on practical skills. There’s an increasing minority within the political establishment who argue that grammar schools should be reintroduced, including the resurgent UK Independence Party, believing that it offers an opportunity for the brightest students to thrive regardless of socioeconomic background. Critics argue that it creates segregation in our society, and only removes a few children from their troubled backgrounds rather than tacking the root causes of deprivation. This week the Manchester Debating Union asks: should we reintroduce grammar schools?
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— Proposition —
– Robert McCartney QC
Barrister and Former Leader of the UK Unionist Party and founder of the National Grammar Schools Association.
– Graham Brady MP
Conservative MP for Altrincham and Sale West, former Shadow Secretary for Europe and Chairman of the 1992 Committee.
— Opposition —
– Melissa Benn
Journalist and author, founder of the Local Schools Network which campaigns in favour of a totally comprehensive schooling system.
– Professor Bernard Barker