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SPECIALISE OR BE AXED, MORRIS TELLS SCHOOLS

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Education secretary Estelle Morris is to demand the end of the 'one size fits all' comprehensive school and will ad...
Education secretary Estelle Morris is to demand the end of the 'one size fits all' comprehensive school and will admit that bad behaviour by pupils is blighting many children's education, reported The Observer (p2, p27).

She will say that for too long comprehensive schools have been above criticism, despite major failings. In a speech to the Social Market Foundation, she will argue for a 'new comprehensive idea' which allows schools to specialise and over different types of education to different pupils. The move will be criticised by teachers' unions and educationalist who claim specialist schools are reintroducing inequality by giving preferential funding to some schools.

Writing in The Observer (p27), Ms Morris says: 'Talking about reforming the comprehensive system has become taboo. In the pursuit of opportunity for all, comprehensive schools have concentrated on their sameness. Schools don't cherish their differences.

'Equality of opportunity will never be achieved by giving all children the same education. In the fight for equality of opportunity, we may have emphasised the equality too much and the opportunity too little'.

She said that although many schools had done a good job, there was still little progress in encouraging children from working class backgrounds to go to university. Some schools confused academic excellence with elitism.
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