Labour and the Grammar Schools: a history (FORUM 3)

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Format: Article

Publication date: September 1, 2017

DEREK GILLARD

This article outlines the Labour Party’s attitude to selective secondary education from the creation of the party in 1900 to the present day. It notes early calls for comprehensive schools; seeks to explain why the post-war Attlee government was so committed to the tripartite system of secondary schools; recounts the failure of the Wilson governments in the 1960s and ’70s to legislate for a fully comprehensive system; describes the assault on the comprehensive ideal led by Tony Blair and Andrew Adonis; and concludes with an account of Labour’s response to Theresa May’s proposal to bring back the eleven plus.

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