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Education in the media: 17 October 2016

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Today’s news review looks at comments made by Sir Michael Wilshaw on grammar schools.

Grammar schools

On Sunday, 16 October, outgoing Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw gave an interview in the Observer in which he discusses his time in post and his views on the profession, particularly surrounding grammar schools.

The piece ran in the Observer, and was picked up in print by the Times, the Telegraph, and the i. Online, his comments were covered by Sky News, Independent, TES, Guardian and MailOnline.

We believe that extending the grammar system will create more places at good schools across the country and help close the attainment gap.

And while Sir Michael called for more investment in technical education, the coverage did not reflect that we have created £2.5billion in funding for apprentices and pledged to have three million young people in an apprenticeship by 2020.

On grammars:

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

We want a country that works for everybody, not just the privileged few, and education is at the heart of that ambition.‎ ‎Our proposals are about providing more great schools in more areas, with conditions in place to ‎make sure that where new selective school places are created, it is to the betterment and not at the expense of other local schools.


Grammar schools provide a stretching education, regardless of background, and help eliminate the attainment gap. Latest figures show grammar school pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds are almost twice as likely to go to an elite Russell Group university than better-off students who attend other schools.‎

On our investment in technical education:

A Department for Education spokesperson said:

Our Skills Plan will ensure that more young people are equipped with the skills that our economy needs. This builds on the progress we have already made by investing in apprenticeships, and will guarantee that technical education routes match the other high quality options available to young people, and lead to skilled employment.

Let us know your views in our Schools that Work for Everyone consultation.

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