Jeremy Corbyn to take fight to government over grammar schools

Labour leader will focus on opposing the Conservatives' education plans after securing party leadership

Julia Belgutay

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Jeremy Corbyn is set to put education policy and his opposition to grammar schools squarely at the centre of his policies after winning the Labour leadership yesterday.

Mr Corbyn, who won over 60 per cent of the vote in yesterday’s leadership vote, has announced a campaign day against the government’s policy on grammar schools, due to take place on Saturday. Speaking after his victory, he said that Labour was going to "hit the streets united as a party".

"I am calling on Labour Party members all over the country to join us in a national campaign for inclusive education next Saturday," he said. "The Tories' plans for grammar-school segregation of our children expose their divisive and damaging agenda for our country."

The Labour party leader has long been opposed to a selective education system, which he believes to be divisive to society, and earlier this year he outlined his plans for a National Education Service, which should be "every bit as vital and as free at the point of use as our NHS". It was time to start putting the case for "investment in learning from cradle to grave", he said.

His shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner – who, like Mr Corbyn, will speak at the Labour conference over the coming days – told TES this week that grammar schools were "not the answer". 

"The fundamental problem with grammar schools is that they create winners and losers," she said. "I want to reach out to anybody who opposes them. We must defeat this, otherwise we let down a generation of children if we don’t."

Subscribers can read the full exclusive interview with Angela Rayner here or in this week's TES magazine.

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