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Parental choice of secondary school is not green

Comment 5th July 2010

We still have three state grammar schools in our Council District.  But I think that fewer than 20% of the children who attend them live in the District or town where the schools are based.  Two are in the same town and educate about 1,200 students between them. 

These two selective state schools are drawing students from five surrounding counties, with many students doing a ridiculous amount of miles per day to get a 'good' education.  It is not green and it is undermining the community importance of a local school, in the same way as the abolition of local post offices and corner shops. 

It is also removing the rights of local children to go to their own local state selective school, meaning pressure on the also excellent non-selective secondary school in the town is huge, exceeding supply.

The pass rate at 11+ exams for the three local grammar schools is between 96 and 98.6%, driven by demand.  Some 11 year-olds attending these schools spend as long or longer out of the home each day than a full time working adult when commuting time is added.  That is a modern-day form of child slavery.  A bright child will do well in any school.

So please give local schools back to local people in order to be more green – the most important item on all agendas.

Two of the selective schools also get funding from a town-based charity which is obliged by law to give over £1m pa to them.

So these two schools get over £800,000 for pupils who don't even live here.  That is another injustice for other secondary school students who do live in the town.

Why does this matter?

If selective state schools have to remain, civil liberties on keeping these schools for local people should be restored, in order to be green

Commuting time for young people would be reduced.  These students would get their life back and let them become part of their own local community again.

Our schools would once more become part of our local community.

These non-tangible benefits are priceless.

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