Focus Group Showed 45% Want Wales to Have Grammar Schools

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), August 8, 2013 | Go to article overview

Focus Group Showed 45% Want Wales to Have Grammar Schools


Byline: MARTIN SHIPTON Chief Reporter martin.shipton@walesonline.co.uk

THE Welsh Conservatives' new policy of seeking to bring back grammar schools - or at least elements of them - has its origin in a recent party focus group session, we can reveal.

Results of the focus group have been leaked to the Western Mail, and showed little support in Wales for the policy of "free schools" being pursued by the UK Government in England.

Asked what they thought about free schools, funded by the state but not under local authority control, only 28% supported them in Wales, with 41% saying they opposed them and the rest saying they either didn't know or didn't wish to comment.

In the UK as a whole there was a different picture, with 45% supporting free schools, 23% opposing them and the rest either saying they didn't know or didn't wish to comment.

By contrast, attitudes towards grammar schools were roughly similar in Wales and the UK as a whole. Asked "Do you think grammar schools should be reintroduced?", 45% in Wales wanted them reintroduced and 17% did not. In the UK the respective figures were 43% and 20%.

Public attitudes towards the NHS were negative both in Wales and in the UK as a whole. Asked "What do you think about the state of the NHS over the past three years?" just 3% in Wales said it had got better, with 49% saying it had got worse and 36% saying it was the same. In the UK as a whole, 4% thought the NHS had got better, 46% thought it had got worse and 37% thought it was the same.

The focus group report also contains a number of questions on the economy.

Asked how the economy was being managed, 34% of people in Wales said well, against 56% who said badly. …

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