A HEATED debate led to Oxfordshire County Council voting to reject steps to reintroduce grammar schools in the county.

Labour councillor Gill Sanders brought the motion to council on Tuesday, September 13, in which she urged fellow councillors to oppose the “extremely retrograde step” of lifting the ban on grammar schools.

Gills says: “The whole idea is abhorrent. To increase the number of selective grammar schools means a reintroduction of secondary moderns.

“I took the 11 plus. My parents didn’t put pressure on me but a lot of parents of other children did. When some failed they were devastated.

“I remember the day of the results. Those of us who passed were called to the front and those who failed had to applaud us. Even at 10 I thought that was dreadful.”

Councillors clashed on the pros and cons of the grammar system for an hour, but eventually 37 voted in favour of opposing a shift to the grammar system, with 14 against. Nine abstained.

An extended version of this post first appeared in the Oxford Mail on Monday 19th September

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