Commenting on Theresa May’s proposals for all schools in England to be given the right to select pupils by ability and the potential impact of more grammar schools on the further education sector, David Hughes, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges (AoC), said:
“We are, of course, supportive of the Prime Minister’s vision for a diverse and more inclusive education system through which every young person can be supported to achieve their potential as an adult. However, the evidence shows that selective education can be divisive and disadvantages many young people.
“Currently too many young people reach the age of 16 without having achieved the required GCSE English and maths grades which will help them progress successfully in learning and in work. We can also see from the evidence that grammar schools select at age 16 in competition with other local providers. Proposals for change need to show how these issues will be addressed if the Prime Minister's vision is to become a reality.
“We will focus on the vital role further education and sixth form colleges have in achieving the broad vision of integrated high-quality education and training which is accessible for everyone. We are keen to see these proposals in more detail to help to ensure the development of an education system where everyone can achieve.”