The Brexit vote was a wakeup call to the fact that our country’s institutions leave far too many people behind while others thrive. Given this context, the decision to focus on grammar schools in this budget is disappointing. It represents a maldistribution of resources.
The Chancellor should have helped millions of children in existing schools cope with over £3 billion in real terms cuts – a situation that will affect staffing, buildings and extracurricular activities, all of which would help the nation’s children to succeed, irrespective of their background.
Instead, resources will be directed into schools for the select few that will get into grammars. Parents already face pressure to spend money on preparing their children for entrance tests so it is unlikely that families who are just about managing will be able to secure spaces at these selective schools for their children.
Despite our differences over this policy, we recognise that the government shares the same aims as we do - to create a society where every child can realise their ambitions. We are looking forward to continuing our work with the government on building an agenda that includes investing in early years education, supporting teaching and leadership in schools and strengthening careers advice for young people.
Lewis Iwu, Director of the Fair Education Alliance