Sunday 2 October 2016

It's not going to be grammar schools of the 1950s. It's going to be all-out war between schools.

We have to be clear that what the Tories are unleashing in their schools policy is not a state-directed 11+ Grammar-Sec Mod system. It's going to be a local, devil-take-the-hindmost, hand-to-hand fighting between schools. One school in an area will announce that it's going to be selective. Another school will say 'Therefore, so will we!' Then the other schools will all say, 'We have no choice, it's not what we wanted, but we're going to be selective.' There will be local turf wars over what kind of selection, what kind of selection procedures - academic, aptitude or whatever. Schools will stop co-co-operating and start doing whatever it takes to get pupils.

This is really important when we're thinking about strategy on how to fight this. The Tories will say, 'This is not us 'deciding' this. It's the localities. It's 'free' choice.' They will say, 'We choose between Sainsbury's and Tesco's so why shouldn't we choose between schools? That's why we get the 'best' food shops.'

This will neatly wipe out the difference between buying food and being selected for an education. The analogy would be if we tried to choose between Sainsbury's and Tesco but Mr Entrance-guy stood on the door and only let in people he said could come in.