David Williams QC, Wycombe Labour's Parliamentary candidate for the 2015 elections said
"This study confirms yet again that the 11+ disadvantages pupils from poorer backgrounds. Wycombe Labour has been saying for a long time that the 11+ should be abolished.
Our position is clear:
- The 11+ doesn’t select on the basis of a pupil’s ability which is what it is supposed to do
- It is unfair because it disadvantages pupils from poorer backgrounds and from ethnic minority groups.
- It is damaging because it makes pupils who do not pass the exam feel like failures.
- It affects children for the rest of their lives. Pupils who pass the 11+ will go to a grammar school, all of which have been assessed by OFSTED as outstanding. Those who fail the 11+ will enter a lucky dip; they stand a roughly 50/50 chance of going to
a good school or not.
We challenge local Tory politicians to say what they think about the 11+.
BCC has a legal responsibility to refer the admissions policy of an academy to the Admissions Adjudicator if the Council has concerns about whether it is fair. As far as we know, BCC has not referred the 11+ to the Adjudicator even though we know BCC officials have had concerns about the new test for years.
But beyond this, surely local Tory politicians, as representatives of their local communities, have views on education and particularly about something so important and controversial as the new 11+ exam in Bucks.
Are local Tory politicians happy about the outcomes of the new test? What do they have to say to those families who - the evidence shows - are disadvantaged?
When are Tory Councillors on BCC going to tell us whether they are happy with the outcomes of the new 11+ and, in particular, the Cabinet member for education, and the Chair of BCC's Education Scrutiny Committee?
And, if Steve Baker, our local MP, could spare the time from his work on the EU referendum and the Treasury Select Committee, perhaps he could tell us what he thinks about the outcomes of the test? He has been remarkably silent about something which affects thousands of children in Wycombe.
Local parents deserve clear answers from their elected representatives and it is about time local Tory politicians gave some answers.”