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Widdecombe for grammar school return.

GRAMMAR schools give poor R children a chance to escape poverty and councils should be allowed to reintroduce them, Ann Widdecombe said yesterday.

The former Conservative Home Office minister suggested that the comprehensive system has not been "truly successful" and that in too many cases the "rigour" of a child's education depends entirely on the school they attend.

Wider social pressures, such as the break-up of family, and alienation, particularly in inner city estates, have also had a massive impact of education, she said.

It came as a leading charity boss warned that too much focus on school exam results risks leading to a rise in teenage pregnancies and drug use.

Speaking before the North of England Education Conference in Blackpool, Miss Widdecombe said: "There was a time when a child from a poor background who was able, would have got a grammar school education, and he would have had serious rigour. And in those days there was no issue over state places at Oxford. Because it was grammar schools that sent kids to Oxbridge with no problems at all.''
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jan 6, 2011
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