9 February 2017
Commenting on a summary document of meetings between the Department for Education and the Grammar School Heads Association, Kevin Courtney, General Secretary of the National Union of Teachers, the largest teachers' union, said:
"Schools across the country are crying out for sufficient funding and instead of addressing this as an urgent priority, the Secretary of State is fiddling around with secret plans for a return to a two-tier education system in which 90% of children will attend what are in effect secondary-modern schools.
"The Government knows there is neither evidence nor support for a return to selective education. The NUT is quite clear that selection within academy trusts is currently unlawful and yet the Government is quietly encouraging academies to go down this route. The NUT will continue to challenge this approach. (1)
"It is testament to this Government that they are so incapable of making the argument for grammar schools, that they intend to slip out their announcement at a time when the public and press are instead focused on Brexit."
(1) Grammar schools within MATs plan 'unlawful', says union, TES, 2 December 2016: https://www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/exclusive-grammar-schools-within-mats-plan-unlawful-says-union