UKIP teacher defies union to back grammar schools

A TEACHER at Heckmondwike Grammar School launched a defence of selective education at the National Union of Teachers’ annual conference.

Aleks Lukic, 27, spoke against the motion condemning the expansion of selective education at the high-profile conference in Cardiff.

The information technology teacher, who also attended Heckmondwike Grammar, was the only delegate to dispute the motion, claiming he was speaking on behalf of a “significant number” of teachers who believe in selective education.

Mr Lukic said he would like to see a “grammar school in every town” across the country.

He acknowledged: “Obviously I know this is a settled position in the NUT and I know I’m not going to be changing anything.

“There is contemporary evidence backing up the effectiveness of selective education for driving social mobility and I am not sure that we should be denying families the choice.” Citing research by the Sutton Trust, he said: “Research has also shown that when you compare the 163 grammars with the 163 top achieving comprehensives, the grammar schools take more disadvantaged children.

“The comprehensives are more socially selective and we’ve effectively replaced selection by ability with selection by wealth.”

Mr Lukic is chairman of the Dewsbury, Batley and Spen branch of UKIP and stood as the party’s candidate for Batley & Spen in the last general election.

He is also due to be confirmed as the UKIP candidate for the poll on June 8.

The NUT voted to build a coalition of partners to oppose the proposed expansion of grammar schools.

Mr Lukic added: “I am proud to be an NUT workplace rep and my speeches at conference have been politely received by the vast majority of my colleagues. Many have told me I was right to speak out, even when they didn’t agree with what I said.”

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