The Old Laurentian is pleased that the town’s Grammars will be able to expand under new government plans – but has questions for the Minister.
Speaking in a House of Commons debate Mark said:
“As a product of a grammar school in the constituency that I represent, I am pleased that the government recognises the strengths and qualities that such schools can bring to the country, and that it has brought forward a policy that will enable them to expand”.
“But I am anxious to ensure that our grammar schools should be available for the broadest possible number of children in our community”.
Mark went on to say:
“I was horrified to learn that there is a system in which parents must opt in rather than opting out. I was on a doorstep talking to parents who had a bright and gifted young child, who had been denied the opportunity of a grammar school place because they had not filled in the necessary form in time for the child to take the exam. If we are to make our grammar schools the engines of social mobility that they should be, we should make certain that a child’s ability to sit the selection exam is not determined by their parents’ ability to get a form filled in on time, and sent back to the school and local authority”.
Responding for the government Minister for Schools Nick Gibb said:
“I listened carefully to the important points made about the selection process, and local authorities should be advising parents about the options that are available to their children, particularly those who are from more disadvantaged backgrounds.”
Speaking after the debate, Mark said:
“I am extremely supportive of the measures the government is taking to increase the role of grammar school education, and I look forward to many Rugby children benefiting from the changes over the coming years”.