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‘Selection isn’t about better schools, it’s educational apartheid’

Comprehensive campaigner Melissa Benn tells Hélène Mulholland how her values have been shaped by her education and highly politicised family, and why she believes the end of selection can be achieved ➧

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Melissa Benn says she is “very grateful” to her parents for sending her to a comprehensive school. Now, she wants everyone to enjoy the same opportunity. That is why she is on a mission to end the “educational apartheid” of England’s partially selective system.

For the past four years, Benn has chaired Comprehensive Future, a campaign group that seeks the abolition of the 11-plus and selective schools, and the implementation of a fair and inclusive admissions system.

“Are we a country that wants to invest everywhere in all our children or are we a country that wants to sort them out largely ...

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