Be careful what you wish for



This extended post is about the selection green paper and the prime ministerial speech preceding it.

I come at this issue from a different position to most.

It is of course essential to ensure that the government’s proposals do not unduly disadvantage the majority of learners.

But it is equally important to consider their impact on the minority that the government expects to benefit directly from increased selection.

For the sake of convenience – and sidestepping the definitional and terminological issues – let us call them ‘disadvantaged high attainers’ or the ‘disadvantaged most able’.

The first section below sets the issue in context and explains my title. I have proposed seven core principles which I invite you to debate and dispute. Consensus would be great but, failing that, discussion helps to expose the ideological fault lines that bedevil any rational discussion of selection, or wider support for the most…

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