Southend is failing its youngsters by allowing three out of four grammar school places to be taken by children from outside the borough, according to councillors.
Opposition groups at Southend Council claimed the authority should do more to ensure a higher proportion of the town’s selective school pupils actually lived in the area.Such as..?
Ron Woodley, an Independent councillor for Thorpe, said: “We are not doing enough to ensure our talented children are being taught here.
“What we have is children coming in from Ipswich, being educated in Southend and then going back to Ipswich.
“What is that doing for the economy here? Nothing.”You mean, while here, they don't eat and drink, and shop? I find that very hard to believe. The ghastly little schoolgirls in the green uniforms that get the c2c trains home to Upminster & Barking must be single-handedly keeping the fried-chicken shops of Southend in business!
And, of course, c2c themselves are having to hire cleaners to remove the detritus from their carriages...
However, James Courtenay, the Tory councillor responsible for education, said the statistics did not mean Southend youngsters were being disadvantaged. He pointed out every child from within the borough who passed the 11-plus exam secured a place at a grammar school.
He said: “Southend does not have enough children, at this time, passing the 11-plus to take all of the places. “And, bear in mind that according to comments, the 11 plus (weighted against outsiders and in favour of locals) is not taught for in Southend schools because some heads are fundamentally biased against it.