Private school head says grammar plans “tinkering around the edge”

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A Long Eaton headteacher has said Government plans to create new grammar schools will not go far enough towards raising standards for all.

Keith Morrow, of The Elms School on Derby Road, has urged Prime Minister Theresa May to explore public-private partnerships as an alternative way to deliver choice in schooling.

His comments come after Mrs May signalled her intent to end the ban on creating grammar schools, a move which has proved controversial with education experts, politicians and the public.

Keith said: “Creating grammar schools by itself will not raise standards. It will do nothing to improve the quality of teaching and learning.”

As the head of an independent junior school linked to the selective Trent College, Keith admits it would be “hypocritical” for him to be anything but in favour of state-funded grammar schools.

Instead he insists it is choice, opportunity and teaching quality that are key to every child realising their full potential, and would like politicians to consider the examples set by successful public-private partnership ventures.

Keith said: “In healthcare, we accept public-private partnership so NHS patients are treated in private hospitals. In nursery care, we accept vouchers for free childcare that can be used at private nurseries, state-school nurseries and independent schools.

“Independent schools have made huge strides in widening access to help many more children benefit. Why could we not create a system where all parents can use the educational grant paid to state schools as a voucher to spend on schools of their choice?”

He added: “Despite Mrs May’s courage to take on the education establishment, her proposals are still a tinkering around the edges.”

For more information about The Elms school, visit www.elmsschool.net.