BBC Kent interview on finding funding for Free Schools and Grammar Schools (7 March 2017)

BBC Kent interview on finding funding for Free Schools and Grammar Schools (7 March 2017)

In this interview, I discussed funding for Free Schools and Grammar Schools on BBC Radio Kent with Jules Serkin.

I believe that free schools should become selective, as children are coming from other boroughs into those that do have Grammar Schools. That is putting increasing pressure and demand on the Grammar School system in Kent.

Most Grammar Schools do have catchment policies, but there are a few schools that are ‘super-selective’ schools and will take anyone from anywhere, as long as they get top marks.

What we need is a mix of Grammar and Comprehensive schools. A transcript of my part of the interview is below.

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Host: Now, could the Government’s plans to allow new Free Schools ease the pressure on Kent’s Grammar Schools? An extra £320m will be announced in tomorrows Budget to fund new Free Schools and they could be selective. Dr Stephen Curran was a teacher for 30 years and is an Education Author, and John Crosby is a Tutor from The Right Tuition Company. Both join us now. Stephen, first of all, in Kent we already have Grammar Schools so this is not so dramatic for us but do you think this is the right way forward, to allow these Free Schools to become selective? 

SC: I do, because what’s tending to happen is that there are many people coming in from other boroughs and flooding into boroughs that have Grammar Schools and that is putting increasing pressure on [the school]. 

Host: Yes, which is what we are finding in Kent. 

SC: That is happening in every area that has Grammar Schools. I mean, the Grammar Schools do have catchment policies, but of course, they do open themselves…

Host: Well, they don’t always. Some of the Grammar Schools in Kent are what they call ‘Super-Selective’. They will take anyone from anywhere, as long as you get top marks. 

SC: Yes, that is true, there are a few of those. Most of them do have catchment policies but there are a few, I accept, that. That does cause pressure. Basically, there is more demand across the country. There was a YouGov poll and 62% of people would want a [Grammar School]. 

Host: Is there much of a demand for Secondary Modern schools, because that is what you create when you create Grammar Schools isn’t it? 

SC: Well, not necessarily. I think you would create Secondary Modern schools when you go back to the old Three-Tier System. But, really what we are looking for, I think, is a mix of different types of schools. 

Host: Ok, I want to bring in John Crosby…