A defiant Nicky Morgan called out the government for sending two government whips to her fringe event, and renewed her attacks on Theresa May’s grammar schools policy.
To laughter, she pointed out the whips standing at the back of the room as she opened her speech:
“I’ve got the whips. I’ve got two whips in the room! Gentlemen, I know what it’s like... Very nice to have you here”, she said.
She said expanding selection was “not the right move” for May, and repeated her assertions that it would “undermine the progress” made by previous governments:
“I do worry that a return to selection risks undermining the progress that we have seen over the course of the last decades in our schools by throwing something else into the debate”, she said.
“Is every child in this country entitled to an excellent academic education? For me the answer is yes. And that’s why I think that a return to selection is not the right move at this time.”
In another dig, she leaked the name of Justine Greening’s new policy to help education in deprived areas - which will be dubbed “social mobility areas” in Greening’s speech tomorrow.
She also challenged the government to make funding fairer, saying that otherwise it would be “difficult to deliver” excellent education:
“I really hope that the government is able to make progress on fairer funding across the funding. It is very difficult to deliver the best possible education when there are concerns about funding... There is no doubt the funding formula we have at the moment.. is something that has to be replaced.”
Since she left government Morgan has been critical of their new education policies. In a Facebook post in September, she said:
“I believe that an increase in pupil segregation on the basis of academic selection would be at best a distraction from crucial reforms to raise standards and narrow the attainment gap and at worse risk actively undermining six years of progressive education reform.