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Group calls on Tories to restore grammars

(left to right) Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Treasury Rob Wilson, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid,  Economic Secretary to the Treasury Nicky Morgan, Chancellor the Exchequer George Osborne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Amber Rudd and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke outside 11 Downing Street before Osborne headed to the House of Commons to deliver his annual Budget statement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 19, 2014. See PA BUDGET stories. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

(left to right) Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Treasury Rob Wilson, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Deighton, Financial Secretary to the Treasury Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury Nicky Morgan, Chancellor the Exchequer George Osborne, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Amber Rudd and Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke outside 11 Downing Street before Osborne headed to the House of Commons to deliver his annual Budget statement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 19, 2014. See PA BUDGET stories. Photo credit should read: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

A local education campaign group is writing to the new education secretary for England, Nicky Morgan, to press for the Tories to once again back grammar school education.

Stephen Elliott of Northern Ireland-based Parents Alliance for Choice in Education said yesterday that there was now little difference between the Sinn Fein policy on grammar schools and that of the Conservative Party.

Both outgoing Westminster education secretary Michael Gove and Stormont Education Minister John O’Dowd rely heavily on Programme for International Student Assessment ratings to determine policy, he said.

“But the PISA tests have been described as rubbish by leading statistician David Spiegalhalter,” he said.

The Tories are backing free schools and academies, both Labour ideas which he says are still comprehensive.

The Stormont Department of Education and GB Conservatives declined to comment.

Northern Ireland Conservatives spokesman Mark Brotherston said the party here supports grammars in Northern Ireland but sees integration as a higher priority. Calling for grammars in England is a “distraction”, he added.

 

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