No new selection by pupil ability

26th December 1997 at 00:00
You report in "Labour accused of U-turn on selection" (TES, December 12) that the School Standards and Framework Bill says that "selection will be allowed. . . for those which have partial selection".

In fact, as both the Bill and our White Paper, Excellence in Schools, made clear, no new partial selection by ability will be permitted and our new adjudicator will have the power to end it in those schools where it currently exists.

The Bill also makes clear that there will be a Code of Practice on admissions, which will set out the role and functions of the adjudicator.

Our position on grammar schools remains the same as that which was agreed in Diversity and Excellence and at the 1995 Labour party conference - that it is a matter for parents to decide whether or not they wish to retain a selective admissions policy in those schools.

DAVID BLUNKETT

Secretary of State for Education and Employment Sanctuary Buildings Great Smith Street Westminster London SW1

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