BS on ITV
See below for the link to the piece aired on ITV Meridian with footage taken inside Bournemouth School.
Last week we ran a story on the visit we received from ITV Meridian to film part of a report on the expansion of selective education. Reporter Christine Alsford interrogated George Wright from the sixth form, Headmaster Dr Lewis, Principle of the Canterbury Academy Phil Karnavas and Donna Jones, Conservative leader of Portsmouth City Council.
Wright praised Bournemouth School and the selective system generally, mentioning how it gave working class students “a real shot at achieving way beyond what would be expected (of them)” and for encouraging students to aspire more. Dr Lewis pointed out that the reforms he has put in place will give “local children a greater chance of accessing their local grammar school” whilst also stressing his target to “level the playing field” to minimise the privileges of more wealthy applicants. This would include the need to make the eleven plus exam less susceptible to exploitation by private tuition as well as opening the doors to late developers aged 13 or 14.
Principle Karnavas took an opposing stance to that of our headmaster, warning of the”simple and brutal” truth that selective schools drain comprehensives of more able students. He believed that “the more children go to grammar schools, the more other schools will suffer as a consequence.” Likewise, as leader of Portsmouth Council – a city bereft of grammar schools, Jones identified the lack of interest from local academies to become selective schools, emphasising how the “uptake will probably be very low.”
The government faces opposition from all parties concerning its proposal to lift the ban on new grammar schools and whatever the outcome of the parliamentary vote may be, the ideological divide is unlikely to heal any time soon.
The full report can be seen here: http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2016-10-14/new-grammars-how-would-they-work/