Grammar schools plan shows UKIP would give up on poor pupils in Rotherham

John Healey MP has called on local UKIP councillors to say whether they back Nigel Farage’s latest plans to bring back a segregated state school system of grammar and secondary modern schools in towns across the country.

All the evidence shows poorer children perform worse when pupils are segregated at a young age, with a minority creamed off for grammar schools while the majority are excluded.

Research has found that less than one in 20 pupils who go on to a grammar school are from lower income households, that grammar schools increase inequality and that poor children do dramatically worse in areas of the country where there are still grammar schools.

The Wentworth & Dearne MP said: “Nigel Farage says that UKIP are keeping the flame of Thatcherism alive.

“He’s already said he wants to make you pay for your GP, scrap rights for working people and cut taxes for the richest.

“Now we find out he’s in favour of another Tory policy: skimming off bright kids from better off families to the detriment of the rest.”

Mr Healey said under the last Labour government the proportion of pupils getting five good GCSEs doubled.

He added: “Our schools need to be better still, but improvement comes from a stretching curriculum, good teachers and good local leadership – not giving up on poor pupils and creating an apartheid in state education.”