Thursday, August 30, 2007

Grammar Schools Safe

Speculation surrounding the future of two Ramsgate grammar schools has ended.

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Education Mark Dance has confirmed that Chatham House Grammar School and Clarendon House Grammar School will continue to provide single sex education for the foreseeable future in the heart of Ramsgate town centre.

Mr Dance said:

“I have listened to the opinions of local residents and the headteachers and governors at both schools. What struck me was a desire by all to keep education at the heart of Ramsgate town centre and provide residents with the choice they deserve.

“If the government approves our submission under the Building Schools for the Future programme, then parents will have the choice for their children to attend a grammar school, non-selective school or the Academy in Ramsgate.”

The Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme is an ambitious programme of investment that will see every secondary school in the county rebuilt or refurbished within the next 10 to 15 years. In Thanet there had been growing speculation that the grammar schools would be rebuilt away from the town centre but this decision today stops these claims.

Chris Wells, Cabinet Member for Children, Families and Educational Standards, commented:

“This is a decision that has been delayed for far too long, resulting in damaging speculation about the future, making both pupil and staff recruitment difficult. Both these grammar schools produce good results and we want to work with the local communities and these schools over the forthcoming years to ensure that 21st century educational facilities are brought to Thanet.”

Conservative Parliamentary candidate, Laura Sandys, a governor of Ellington Girls School added: “I will also be continuing to make the case that we keep Hereson School and Ellington School as single sex schools throughout the current consultation process."


Anonymous said...

The news for the Grammar Schools is excellent but as a parent of a Year 8 boy at Hereson, I am concerned that single sex education as a choice for non-grammar stream children will cease in Thanet. I hope that Laura Sandys will persevere with the argument to keep single sex classes at the new Ellington site.

Anonymous said...

I hope David Cameron dosnt read your blog cllr Laura standing up for Grammar schools He might deselect her like he did with a few MP's from his front bench for reopening the subject of Grammar

James Maskell said...

8:51am is probably refering to the Brady situation. Brady resigned from his position as Shadow Europe Minister over his disagreements with the policy. Which MPs are you refering to?

Given Roger Gales own comments on Grammar Schools when it kicked up initially, why would Cameron worry about the comments of Laura Sandys?

Anonymous said...

Chatham House looks like some country pile at the top of the High Street that needs pulling down.

Laura Sandys, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for South Thanet said...

I totally appreciate the important point that the parent of a boy at Hereson School makes. I have been persistent in my representations to KCC about ensuring that we offer single sex education for ALL at secondary level. To this end I am campaigning to ensure that single sex education is preserved for the children at both Ellington and Hereson schools. I hope that many parents will join me through the consultation process to ensure that we secure this choice for our children.

Anonymous said...

I hope that all people will understand that life is a balance, ie some people are supportive of single sex education, some are not.

I cannot get my head around the idea of single sex education, life is not single sex, so do we want our children to learn how to live life single sex?

I do not believe so. mixed schooling is the way forward. Its a bit like saying that the Harry Potter stories should not involve girls (or boys) 'cos Hogwarts is single sex.

chris wells said...

The research tells us that up to Key Stage 3 girls and boys do better if taught in single sex classrooms. Parents and children are not always convinced, but the research is quite clear. If we can retain single sex options at both grammar and high schools I will be delighted. My job is to give parents the best and widest range of choices - something Kent actually does quite well.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that the press and media keep going on about kent is the only county that has the 11+ as I'm under the impression that other counties also have the same selection. And why all the fuss about grammar schools. If children are doing better in education why shouldn't they be able to carry on being educated in a grammar school which is only going onto helping everyone on this country as hopefully they go onto further education. Are we saying what ever party we support we should just let our above average children just carry on in schools which have improved without doubt but then could also suffer by being kept behind that would mean that we would have to employ more teachers to help those students who need the extra education?

Anonymous said...

I am delighted that Laura Sandys is doing her utmost for High school parents to have the same choice that has now been given to parents at our local Grammar schools ( Best wishes for your impending nuptials Laura and I hope the weather is fine tomorrow!) As Chris Wells points out, there is a mass of evidence to show that single sex classes( not necessarily single sex schools) are more effective learning environments. The KCC decision to support the separate status of our single sex Grammars whilst rapidly moving towards its removal in our only single-sex high schools in Thanet smacks of class distinction and discrimination.

chris wells said...

The decision to mix the sexes in class for the Ramsgate High Schools is not final and is out for consultation through the relevant board, SOAB. If you feel strongly you can make your voice heard. The high school choices should be treated no differently.