Anti-Grammars Labour MP Sent Both Her Sons to Grammar School

New Canterbury Labour MP Rosie Duffield campaigned on an anti-grammars platform at the election, saying she wanted “no new grammar schools” as they are “not the way forward” and the 11+ is a “horrible, divisive and stressful thing”. It would be pretty dumbfoundingly hypocritical for Rosie to send her own children to grammars and then pull the ladder up, right?  

Yes, both of Duffield’s sons went to Simon Langton Grammar School in Canterbury. One of them still currently goes there, despite mummy not wanting other people’s kids to have that choice. Daniel Hamilton, a likely Tory challenger at the next election, has written to Duffield asking for clarification, pointedly noting: “how many families and young people in East Kent have benefited from our excellent local grammar schools”. As Labour grammars hypocrites go, this is up there…

May Attacks Corbynistas’ Grammar Educations

Theresa May went ad hominem at PMQs, attacking Labour’s frontbench for pulling up the drawbridge. As Guido has noted previously:

  • Jeremy Corbyn – Attended a grammar school. His son went to a grammar school.
  • John McDonnell – Attended a grammar school.
  • Seumas Milne – Sent both his son and daughter to grammar schools.
  • Diane Abbott – Attended a grammar school and sent her son to a private school.
  • Jon Trickett – Attended a grammar school.
  • Grahame Morris – Attended a grammar school.
  • Paul Flynn – Attended a grammar school.

Another happy reader…

Tory Education Committee Chair’s Grammars Hypocrisy

Julia Hartley-Brewer gives Tory Education select committee chair Neil Carmichael a pasting on TalkRadio for opposing grammar school expansion yet sending all three of his own children to grammars. The Corbynistas have double standards too, but this from Carmichael takes the biscuit…

Anti-Grammars Lobbying Letter Organised By Private Schoolboy

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The Teach First charity are circulating a letter aimed at lobbying Tory MPs to vote against grammar schools – and the man behind it is an Oxbridge-educated former private schoolboy. Teach First ambassador Louka Travlos is seeking to drum up enough covert support that he can get an anti-grammars letter published by a newspaper, telling colleagues:

“We need signatures from at least 3000 members of our community if the newspaper is going to be able to make the letter into a story. Crucially we need to do it without social media. If the letter is tweeted and shared publicly no paper will be interested in making it into a story.”

On his personal Facebook page however, black-tie wearing Travlos discusses how he himself enjoyed the merits of a selective education:

“My parents were wealthy. They sent me to an expensive private primary, Orme House, where they drilled me on exam practice… I remember the visceral fear of failure and having to go to…(shudder) State school…. But my parents could afford specialist private tuition, so I passed.”

His selective education allowed him to go on to study PPE at Oxford. Talk about pulling up the drawbridge…

Shami Squirms Over Selective Schools Hypocrisy

Pesto asks Shami how she can square her opposition to grammars with sending her son to private school. “I live in a nice big house and eat nice food…”

Grammar Critic in Labour PPB Went to £18,000-a-Year School

Labour’s new party political broadcast features a segment on how grammar schools are “elitist“. The Corbynista voicing his opposition to selective education is Abhijay Sood, an Imperial College student who is mates with the Momentum crowd. Naturally Abhijay attended the prestigious £18,000-a-year academically selective John Lyon school. So he’ll fit in well with his fellow selective education opponents at Momentum, James Schneider (Winchester) and Jon Lansman (Highgate). Not to mention the grammar school boys of the shadow cabinetAs the PPB asks, “what’s that if it’s not elitist?”

UPDATE: Abhijay justifies himself with a response on the facebook.com/fawkespage

Polly Toynbee’s Shameless Grammar Schools Front

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Polly Toynbee today attacks Theresa May’s grammar school plans, arguing that segregation by social class is “irrational” and claiming grammars add to “splits and divisions” in society. She has some front. Polly herself failed her 11-plus and attended the independent Badminton School. Earning £110,000-a-year at the Guardian meant she was able to send two of her children to private school as well. Today Toynbee writes that “inequality is monstrously unfair… it means birth is almost always social destiny”. Some children are evidently more equal than others. Is there a bigger hypocrite in the grammar schools debate?

Why Tories Support Grammar Schools Despite Data

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Labour are aghast, and the overwhelmingly grammar school and privately educated commentariat is hitting the keyboard hard in rage against Theresa May’s grammar school push. Wonkish types in the think-tank world and their fellow travelling social justice warriors are also quoting statistics and research that reveal the injustice of grammar schools being dominated by the middle classes. So why do Tories support them?

In private most Tories believe that the selective nature of grammar schools does not result in an unmeritocratic outcome. More intelligent kids get into more academically rigorous schools. They are mainly middle class because the middle classes are generally more intelligent, that is how they got to be middle class. “You can’t say it, that’s a third rail it’s inadvisable to touch in this debate”, one well known Tory educationalist told Guido. Openly acknowledging that middle class kids tend to have higher measured IQs means accepting that IQ is an inherited characteristic, that on the whole nature trumps nurture. That social class and IQ are not unrelated. These are things not to be spoken of in polite society.

High Tory aristocrats and free market meritocrats agree. They know the data appears to show that the middle classes dominate grammar schools. They just don’t believe the domination is unfair.

Nicky Morgan Looked Round Posh Private School For Son

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Sacked former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has been Theresa May’s fiercest Tory critic on grammar schools. All eyes on her in the Commons this afternoon after she blasted the PM:

“I believe that an increase in pupil segregation on the basis of academic selection would be at best a distraction from crucial reforms to raise standards and narrow the attainment gap and at worse risk actively undermining six years of progressive education reform. The evidence is now incontrovertibly clear that a rigorous academic education does not need to be the preserve of the few.”

Just how concerned is NiMo about a good education not being “the preserve of the few“? In 2014 Guido revealed she had looked round Fairfield, a posh boys’ prep school, for her son. And earlier this year she admitted she was considering sending her son to a private secondary school. When Morgan heard that her local paper was about to print the story, her aide threatened to pull her weekly column. Her views on local issues have since remained the “preserve of the few”…

Stella Creasy’s “Retrograde” Education

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Labour head girl Stella Creasy is railing against grammar schools, condemning them as a “retrograde step” and calling on Tory MPs to vote against their return. Stella herself obviously attended a grammar school. Indeed, a Guardian profile by the respected journalist Esther Addley in 2013 reveals

“Creasy spent her early years in Manchester before the family moved to Colchester, where she attended a girls’ grammar school – having failed the 11-plus and only been given a second chance because the family moved south”

So, according to the Guardian Stella tried to get into not one but two grammars. She only managed to stay out of a comp because her famously “aristocratic” parents moved house. No chance of her going private and freeing up a place for a working class kid. Heaven forbid anyone else should enjoy the education she did…

Order of the OTT: Paul Mason on “Trumptards”

Formerly impartial BBC economics expert turned top Corbynista Paul Mason is handling the grammar schools debate with his usual calm and reasoned approach. In the interests of accuracy Paul should have written “Trumptards”, UKIP, a majority of the British public, and Seumas Milne…  

Corbynistas Enjoyed Grammar School Educations

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Widespread bafflement that Jeremy Corbyn didn’t go with grammar schools as his line of questioning at PMQs. Guido can guess why…

  • Jeremy Corbyn – Attended a grammar school. His son went to a grammar school.
  • John McDonnell – Attended a grammar school.
  • Seumas Milne – Sent both his son and daughter to grammar schools.
  • Diane Abbott – Attended a grammar school and sent her son to a private school.
  • Jon Trickett – Attended a grammar school.
  • Grahame Morris – Attended a grammar school.
  • Paul Flynn – Attended a grammar school.

Emily Thornberry however failed her 11 plus…

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