11+ system '˜damages' children in Bucks say councillors

Labour councillors have slammed the 11-plus exam as '˜damaging' to children in Bucks as Theresa May considers plans for a new wave of selective grammar schools.

Monday, 15th August 2016, 5:38 pm
Updated Monday, 15th August 2016, 6:40 pm
Editorial image

The new Prime Minister is thought to be a supporter of new selective schools and Bucks County Council says it ‘supports the grammar school system’.

But the Labour Party has reacted furiously by blasting the 11-plus and challenging Bucks County Council to provide evidence that the selective system works.

A spokesman for the Bucks Labour Party said: “We think the 11-plus is unfair.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It’s divisive and damaging to most of the children in Bucks – there is a massive amount of evidence to support that.

“We think Bucks County Council have failed to scrutinise the effectiveness of the 11-plus and they have refused to provide information about it.

“They don’t acknowledge that there is overwhelming evidence that the 11-plus is unfair.”

She added: “Children think they are failures (if they do not pass the exam).

“It discriminates against poor families, people from ethnic backgrounds and it discriminates against state schools.”

But Zahir Mohammed, cabinet member for education and skills, said: “Buckinghamshire County Council supports the grammar school system because we believe that it achieves the best educational outcomes for our young people.

“If the rules on creating new grammar schools were changed, we would be happy to work with any of our secondary schools to support more grammar schools.”