GUEST COLUMN: Grammar schools plan is about opportunity for everyone, by Mark Spencer MP

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I was delighted to hear recently that pupils from Joseph Whitaker school in Rainworth have been awarded a grant of £3,000 from the Royal Society of Engineering for a project where young engineers from the school are trying to build rocket cars that will reach 1,000mph.

Having visited and seen the project in action several times I can say it is an amazing example of how engaging the children with engineering and science and offering those opportunities to everyone has had a huge impact on the school, and on the kids themselves who are aspiring to do amazing things.

I know the headlines in recent weeks have focused on grammar schools and the arguments about what that might mean, but the Government’s plan isn’t focused just on grammar schools it is aimed at offering opportunities to children from all backgrounds and all abilities.

As Theresa May said at Prime Minister’s Questions last week it’s not about equality of outcome.

What we want is equality of opportunity - for every child to have the chance to succeed. Whether you agree with grammar schools or not they are just one small part of that programme to offer opportunities to everyone across the board, and locally we have seen education in this constituency go from strength to strength.

Ollerton’s Dukeries College has been making vast improvements, Joseph Whitaker, Frank Seely in Calverton, Holgate and National in Hucknall are all coming on in great strides, offering a better education for all of our children and helping them aspire to achieve.

Results recently have been better than ever in these local schools and it’s our children that will benefit the most from that, but it’s also the whole wider community as those children achieve great things, find work and contribute to our local economy and society.

We all benefit from good education, and here in Sherwood that’s exactly what we have.