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GOVERNMENT IS COMMITTED TO EDUCATION SPECIALISATION - NOT SELECTION

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Education Secretary John Patten today published a letter to Councillor Graham Lane, Chairman of the Association of ...
Education Secretary John Patten today published a letter to Councillor Graham Lane, Chairman of the Association of Metropolitan Authorities, setting out the Government's policy on specialisation.

Mr Patten said he disagreed with the suggestion that specialisation was a code for selection. 'It is a means of extending choice for parents and pupils through the development by different schools of different strengths and areas of expertise. Crucially, it is underpinned by the guarantee of a broad and balanced curriculum for all pupils,' writes Mr Patten.

'The legislation now enacted allows voluntary aided and self- governing secondary schools - already around a quarter of all secondary schools - to take sponsors' representatives on to their governing bodies,' he adds.

'Specialisation does not mean selection; but selection has, and will continue to have, an important role to play in contributing to the variety of educational provision. You wish it were otherwise. So be it - there is as you say a fundamental difference between us. You are committed to one particular model of secondary school. I am committed to increasing choice and diversity so that parents can decide for themselves,' says the letter.
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