British conservatives eyeing school change

May 16, 2007 at 6:26 PM

YORK, England, May 16 (UPI) -- Members of the British Conservative Party announced Wednesday that in order to improve social mobility, they would seek an end to grammar schools.

Speaking at a public service reform conference, shadow education secretary David Willetts said the nation's grammar school system should be abandoned because it does not adequately aid underprivileged children, The Guardian reported.

The Tory official said the evidence does not support the belief that poor children can use Britain's current educational system to move ahead.

"We must break free from the belief that academic selection is any longer the way to transform the life chances of bright poor kids," he said, "there is overwhelming evidence that such academic selection entrenches advantage, it does not spread it."

The Guardian said that the party instead supports nationwide networks of schools focused on more traditional teachings.

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