Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rebels Say Blair Must Ban Pupil Selection Interviews

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Rebels Say Blair Must Ban Pupil Selection Interviews

Article excerpt

Byline: DOMINIC HAYES

LABOUR MPs are to demand that state schools be banned from interviewing prospective pupils as a backdoor selection method.

Tony Blair is being told this is the price he will have to pay if he wants to get his controversial school reforms through Parliament without a Labour revolt.

The Evening Standard has learned the demand is a key plank of a report by Labour and Liberal Democrat members of the Commons education select committee.

The report, to be published tomorrow-will be used as the basis of negotiations between Mr Blair and his rebellious backbenchers to get the education Bill through the Commons without Tory support.

The report will demand: . Interviewing prospective pupils should be illegal for "trust" schools that opt out of local authority control and run their own admissions.

. A U-turn on the White Paper's proposal that all new schools should be trust schools, clearing the way for new "community schools" run by local authorities.

. "Forums" of schools and local authorities should have stronger powers to force popular schools to take a proportion of their pupils from poor families. …

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