The Prime Minister has made clear that the Government is dedicated to making Britain a fairer society where success is based on merit not privilege, and that education lies at the heart of that mission. In September 2016 a consultation was launched asking for views on a range of proposals aimed at creating an education system that extends opportunity for everyone, not just the privileged few. This consultation has closed and the contributions are being read and listened to. I look forward to reading the formal response once it is published in due course.
The reforms since 2010 have had a transformational effect on education in this country. I am encouraged that there are now 1.8 million more children in good or outstanding schools. I welcome that work on these ambitious reform is continuing so that every child has the best possible start in life. Childcare for working parents of three and four year olds will be doubled to 30 hours a week, and the amount spent on school places is already double that spent by the previous Government. The stark reality, however, is that demand for school places only continues to grow, and too many children in this country still do not have access to a good school.
The proposals that have been put forward aim to address this by providing access to a good school place for every child,, not just those who can afford to move into the catchment area of the best state schools. The consultation has sought views on creating a more diverse school system, including the role that selection can play in opening up excellent places to more children, particularly the disadvantaged.
Clearly, relaxing restrictions on selective education can and should be to the betterment, not at the expense, of other local schools. There will be no return to secondary moderns. Changes will happen where there is local demand, and measures to maintain school diversity will be considered, so every child can have the opportunity, skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the future.