Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Minister to declare war on the grammar sector

The Irish News (subs needed) reports today that the Education Minister Caitriona Ruane is set to punish grammar schools that go ahead with selection tests by restricting funding to them and forcing them to accept only the very best results.

The newspaper reports on the merits of this move and argues that it would put it up to the grammar sector to focus on their academic ethos whilst proving popular with the secondary sector because it will lead to more funding for those schools.

What the article does not address is the fact that this is just making a very bad situation worse.

Firstly by taking such a step the Minister would be copper fastening a selective process at eleven, the one thing she clams she wants to remove. It could also have effect of creating a two speed education system with grammars allowing 'paid for' places effectively turning them into semi-private schools whilst the secondary sector relies wholly on public funding.

What we need is political leadership on this issue not kite flying and leaking to the press from those who support the Minister and the grammar lobby.

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