Rebels Say Blair Must Ban Pupil Selection Interviews

The Evening Standard (London, England), January 26, 2006 | Go to article overview

Rebels Say Blair Must Ban Pupil Selection Interviews


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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