The scandal of empty grammar places in Bucks

A local pressure group, Local Equal and Excellent, has put out a press release showing that there are about 100 vacant places in Bucks grammar schools for year 7.

The press release suggests it is difficult to find a local politician who is prepared to stand up for the many children who are losing out because they can't get into their local school while places in the grammar school stand vacant. 

Wycombe Labour have been calling on Tory politicians for months to speak out on the now discredited 11+.   We have been calling on them to explain why state schools in Wycombe have an average pass rate of 14% while private schools have a pass rate of 65%.  We have been calling on them to explain why disadvantaged pupils in Bucks do so poorly at GCSE compared to their peers - the inequality is the worst in the country.  We have been calling on Tory politicians to explain why so many children from outside Bucks get places in our grammar schools and are elbowing out our children.  And now we find that the grammar schools have vacant places.  It beggars belief.

But all we have heard is silence.  Silence from the local Tory MPs, silence from Tory Councillors on Bucks County Council and silence for that matter from all the other local political parties. 

David Williams QC, Wycombe Labour’s candidate, has said clearly and unequivocally that the 11+ is unfair and disadvantages children from state schools, ethnic minorities and poorer families.  There is no such thing as a fair 11+ and it should be abolished.  All our children deserve an excellent education in their local school. A comprehensive system is the only way to achieve this. "

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