We believe that the time has come for the Labour party to ensure that every child is offered the opportunity of a place at a high-quality comprehensive school. As a result of selective education in counties such Bucks, Kent and Lincolnshire , some 19% of all English schoolchildren are caught up in a system which decides whether they go to a grammar school or de facto secondary modern. Children of 10 years old should not be subjected to a stressful test that decides their secondary schooling.
- Many of the most successful global education systems are comprehensive and do not subject children to public exams until 18 years of age.
- Comprehensive schools raise the attainment of all children. GCSE figures show that more children do better in a comprehensive system and that the attainment gap between disadvantaged and more advantaged pupils is narrower.
- Comprehensive schools are inclusive. All pupils' interests and talents are allowed to flourish, and attainment in creative and technical subjects is celebrated alongside academic success.
- Attending a local comprehensive school is good for the community and the environment. Attending a local school means less time wasted on travelling, encouraging a walk to school and leaving more time for homework and other interests.
- A genuinely comprehensive education avoids academic segregation and social divisiveness. Educating children from all social backgrounds together prepares them for a diverse society and helps make our society more cohesive.
The Labour Party should support an end to the divisive and outdated 11-plus test and promote the benefits of opening up selective schools to all children in the local community.