09/09/2016 Newsnight


In-depth analysis of the stories behind the day's headlines with Emily Maitlis. Theresa May's grammar school revolution and Jean-Marie Le Pen on the French far right.

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This is the plan to deliver them, and to set Britain


You learn a lot about a Prime Minister by the enemies


Theresa May takes on the educational establishment.


We're joined by the Head of Westminster School,


As election season hots up in France, the father of the far


right, Jean-Marie Le Pen, tells Newsnight he has no regrets.


And after banning this Vietnam War photo for indecency,


We talk to the Norwegian writer who started the whole debate.


It was never going to be a popular move with


Nor indeed, with the Education Secretary she recently fired.


Theresa May has shown an appetite for a battle


that may well get the grass roots Conservatives on her side.


But huge swathes of the educational establishment


Today, she insisted the grammar schools she envisioned


were a thing of the future, not the past.


She called for faith schools to grow and -


in a shot at the sector of privilege - demanded more from private schools


in return for the tax breaks they get from their charitable status.


Chris Cook, whose film yesterday anticipated many of


the fine details of today's speech, asks if she's chosen a fight


When she first arrived in Downing Street, Theresa May said


she didn't want to lead just a Brexit Government, and she won't.


As part of a broad education package, today,


I want to relax the restrictions that stop selective


schools from expanding, that deny parents the right


to have a new selective school open where they want one,


and that stop existing nonselective schools from becoming selective


in the right circumstances and where there is demand.


New grammar schools would require new legislation,


but it's far from clear the Government has much


of a majority on this in the House of Commons.


They certainly don't have one at all in the House of Lords.


Lots of that opposition to this idea comes from the experience


and evidence from the old grammar system, and the remaining grammar


That is perhaps part of why Theresa May was so keen to stress


that these new grammar schools would be something new altogether.


They would, for example, be required to take a certain number


That would help with the main concern about grammars,


One chain of grammars does it already, but it's


There's a lot of work involved to persuade parents


that a grammar school education is right for their children.


We've probably been more successful in doing that in some of the Asian


parts of the city than in the white working-class parts.


That's not to do with the ability of the children, it's more


that the outreach has to be more intensive.


Academics remain sceptical, though, about this idea.


The poor kids who are going to do well in the


11 plus or not a random sample, they are probably from family


backgrounds that are good in some way,


supportive families, interested in education, very possibly from


And kids who would probably do well in the system anyway.


Rather than have the schools benefit from the


presence of these good, intelligent and motivated poor kids,


they will be taken out of those schools and


put into these elite schools, leaving behind


all of these other kids who


would benefit from interacting with them.


The so-called 50% rule is set to go, an admission rule for faith schools


that discouraged new Catholic faith schools in particular.


The 50% rule means that if you build a new school


and it is oversubscribed, you are not allowed to select


For us, that means that if we build a new


Catholic school in an area where there is demand from parents for a


Catholic education, we then have to turn


50% away because they are


Catholic, and that neither makes sense, nor does it fit in with our


charitable trust deeds under which we operate,


and the canon law of the


I have always been relaxed about faith schools, but in the last


few years I have become more nervous.


More segregation is not to be encouraged, so I am nervous


about the proposals, and I think that a lot


of people in the House of Lords


will be nervous about those proposals.


The speech contained a commitment to force private schools to hate state


schools, with a bit of a threat. Through charitable status, private


schools reduce their tax bills by millions every year, and I want to


consult on how we can amend guidance for private schools to enact a


tougher test on the amount of public benefit to be derived to maintain


charitable status. You might be surprised that hearing a


Conservative having a go at private schools, because the party has


historically offended their interests. If you look at the


Independent schools Council website, you can see that they proudly record


the lowest fee increase this year since 1994, but its 3.3%. That's a


lot. The average cost of a private sixth form this year is ?21,000 a


year. Private schools are now havens of the ultrarich where they used to


educate the spine of the middle-class political


establishment. All of the changes together will not generate as much


heat as the idea of selection. If you look at the last 15 years or so,


there has been a group of people across the parties who have been


determined to move the whole skiffs -- school system are stop at times


that has been controversial and we have taken radical decisions, but


there has been consensus. I think there is a real expectation that


this will break the consensus, and I think that is a shame, because it


has been important to schools and teachers that they feel there has


been a broad level of support behind the changes. The Theresa May plan


for schools faces huge obstacles, principally parliament, but whatever


comes now, one thing is clear: Things changed when the Prime


Minister did. Let's talk now about the policy


and the politics of all this. With me are Patrick Derham,


headmaster of Westminster School, one of the top independent


schools in the country, and Conservative MP


Mark Field, in whose constituency Also here are Anne McElvoy,


senior editor at The Economist, and Philip Collins, chief leader


writer at The Times. A warm welcome to you all. Thanks


for coming in. We heard from Nicky Morgan, the woman whom your party


charged with the nation's education until July, calling these ideas at


best a distraction from crucial reforms, and at worst, undermining


six years of progressive education. This is pushing things backwards.


Things have moved on. Since July. They certainly have moved on from


Nicky Morgan. She is no longer in position, and we have a new Prime


Minister with a passion for getting a great meritocracy, as she rightly


put it. Personally, I think we have seen over the last 20 years


prominent politicians of all parties utilising this in a crude


calculation in the way they look at an intervention. I think one of the


great things about this speech from Theresa May is that it comes from


the heart. There is an authentic sense of where she sees education


needs to be. What has changed since the 23rd of June is that we are now


in the throes of removing ourselves from the European Union. I think it


is easy to try and say that this is an old Tory ideological battle


coming back. I think it is fundamentally different. If you'll


forgive me, what hasn't changed is the evidence which suggests that


this hurt the poor. It leaves more people behind than it takes with it.


The important thing to recognise that our brightest children from the


poorest households have a special educational needs that is not being


looked after. It is simply a matter -- if you think it is simply a


matter for those with difficulties, this is fundamental. London results


are pretty good. You don't need grammar schools. We do. Ask Chinese


and Bangladeshi families in my constituency, and they would like


nothing more than to see the brightest and best... The change


that has taken place since June is that we are in a very competitive


world out there. China and India are big nations going forward, and those


who want to invest in UK companies for the future will want to see a


properly fully educated workforce. Elitism should not be a bad word in


the way it has been too often in this debate. Patrick, did you hear a


litres or excellence as a bad word when Theresa May was talking about


what the private sector must do and that thread about charitable status?


-- elitism. I think she recognised the huge contribution that the


independent sector makes to the issue of mobility, which is a real


concern for myself personally, but also for my colleagues. And she


recognised that we are part of the solution and not the problem. I've


argued for a long time that we need to change the debate and to look


more critically at what is going on. The interesting thing for me is, she


picked up on capacity and capability for some schools and recognise there


is not a one size fits all solution, which I think is important. She


recognised that there needs to be a degree of proportionality, that not


all schools of the same. There is a mythology about the independent


sector and the type of pupils go to them. And I think she recognised


that by what she said. She also recognise that the schools of


immense privilege have charitable status for tax breaks, and a lot of


the public will say, why on earth are they getting those? Because we


are contributing to the greater good in all sorts of ways. Some examples


- she name checks Westminster and the work we're doing with the Harris


Federation. Not all independent schools are like Westminster and


eaten. You think there is room for many of them to do more? Lots of


them do not have the huge playing field. And ovary were


# And overwhelming proportion of independent schools are affected. It


is not just the sponsoring of academies and free schools or the


provision of bursaries, though that was the talk in 2010. One bursaries,


look at the ground-breaking work that has been done by some of them


in fundraising and really reaching out to underprivileged members of


the community will stop look at the Arnold foundation, started at Rugby,


which has given birth to Springboard, a national charity, and


private schools raising aspirations amongst those most in need of that


type of education. You raise an interesting point. Does it surprise


you that as a Tory Prime Minister stepping into this debate -- is it


surprise you that there is a Tory Prime Minister. Going back to the


Tory DNA on grammar schools, very brave and bold, but not so difficult


for her to do. You can see she clearly believes it. She is a


beneficiary herself of grammars goals, and she believes she can


deliver more meritocracy through it. A lot of people will doubt it, but


she will get the chance to make the case. Her whole pitch as Prime


Minister after David Cameron, who was a bit of a posh boy, was not


being like that. Trying to engage the private sector more and turning


the screws to an extent on the private sector is something she is


serious about. I have to do -- disagree with Patrick. The Academy


's chains and private schools got involved, and sometimes they walked


away when it got difficult. They will find their feet will be held to


the fire to deliver a bit more, and that may be no bad thing. All we


have heard about for the last six years is academies and free schools,


and suddenly everyone is on board behind Theresa May and grammar


schools are the rage. It is a big change in rhetoric. The first half


was real boilerplate. Every Prime Minister makes that speech after


review weeks. They all talk about meritocracy. Everyone has done it.


Did you write that for Tony Blair? Yes. I didn't write the one today,


but I could have done. It was cut and paste from things I have done


with a bit of rhetorical flourish. The second half of the speech wasn't


as good as that. When you get to the policy things, I think there are


some problems buried in there. I think it will be difficult to do.


You're talking about grammar schools particularly? Yes. That is partly


the politics within Westminster, the parliament rather than the school or


the constituency. The politics of grammar schools are difficult over


time. Any policy which takes 20% of people and says, your school is


better than the other 80%, the arithmetic is not good. Can I go to


an educationalist for one second? I think the interesting thing about


her speech was what she didn't say. The key thing is not the school


structure, it is the quality of the interaction between a pupil and


teacher. The real issue facing this country, and quite a lot of the


Western world is the issue of teacher recruitment, teacher


retention and the quality of teaching. I also think what she


didn't talk about was, I am not convinced, I think we need to take a


step back and say is tinkering with school structure


is the the real issue for me is too often governments in this country


have brought into schools can fix mentality, and I think there is a


real problem with that. I think there is an issue about empowering


parents and what has not been touched on is the issue of technical


schools. It is a very technical process where you share grammar


schools with a lot of other people. I want to touch on the issue of


mandate. Where does this come from and who supports that? I think we


know a lot of the Conservative Party supports it. The mandate question,


the technical understanding of it, in terms of how the Lords will view


it if it wasn't in the manifesto, then her right to overrule this very


dubious indeed, I have a bit of sympathy to her and any government,


which changes after such a disruption, as Brexit and the change


of leadership in the Conservative Party, she is not going to get up


there and do a David Cameron... Are you saying this is a massively fresh


sheet and you can get away with it? There is no constitutional


requirement to seek an extra mandate. So you don't think this is


part of a ploy to bring forward an election if she loses? I doubt it


is, actually. In my view she would be well advised to have an election.


She could crucify the Labour Party and gain the majority I think she


might need to get some of these things through. She doesn't have any


votes to get this through? I think she will have the votes in the


Commons. One reason why the issue of independent schools has been brought


up here, and it will put more flesh on the bones of technical schools,


it will be part of parcel of a more broad review of education. How can


you be confident that you will get this through? We heard from Michael


Wilshaw, the ex-head of the Hackney Academy, part of that academy's


push, a lot of people have committed years of their life to the academies


programme. And a lot of Conservative ministers were committed to the


academies programme. There is no mention of it. That is a bit


problematic. We are just wrapping up. The last word. I am not


convinced there will be many schools that will go for it. The conditions


for doing the grammar school bit quite onerous. I am not convinced


that there will be many schools which will find that attractive.


Thank you for coming in. In France, election season


is kicking into gear. Former President Nicolas Sarkozy has


thrown his hat into the ring, for the centre-right Republican


Party. The incumbent, Francois Hollande


hasn't said whether he'll run again. Some in his centre-left


Socialist Party would like to replace him,


given that his popularity ratings There's really only one thing


you can say for certain about this election, and that is


that Marine Le Pen So what does the rise of the far


right mean for French politics? Gabriel Gatehouse has sent this


report from Paris. The wheel of political


fortunes is turning. A centre-left president


with the lowest approval ratings in French history


is fighting for survival. His predecessor from


the centre-right whom once claimed that dubious honour for himself


is trying to stage a comeback. But the real winner might be


someone quite unexpected, someone who doesn't


really feel much like Jean-Marie Le Pen's days of standing


for president are long gone. The 88-year-old veteran


of France's colonial wars is, in many ways a has-been,


sidelined and then expelled by his own daughter from the party


he founded 45 years ago. But the Front National is riding


high in the polls, and Mr Le Pen's right-wing anti-immigration rhetoric


is stiking the right chord. Jean-Marie's daughter,


Marine Le Pen, will almost certainly reach the second round run-off


is in the presidential election. She has modernised the party,


tried to detoxify the brand, but at heart says Le Pen pere,


the Front National message remains Such sentiments may be bluntly


expressed, but they are no longer In the aftermath of the attacks


in Paris and Nice, the most devastating attacks on French soil,


this election will be fought largely on the issues of who should be


allowed in this country who was nicknamed the hyper


president, the diminutive is pitching for his second


round of the presidency. Nicolas Sarkozy is running on the


slogan "Everything for France." It is a rallying cry calculated


to appeal to nationalist sentiment. It is also a play on a previous


slogan from a previous centre-right president, Jacques Chirac,


in the mid-'90s, who ran under This inversion tells you everything


you need to know about how far mainstream political discourse has


moved to the right. Sarko's talk is all about


borders, about identity. Never mind the burkini,


he says he wants to widen the ban on wearing the veil in public,


and he said he wants to rewrite the law which says if you're born


in France you can become a citizen. To some, such rhetoric sounds


straight out of a Front National playbook, but Sarkozy's


supporters say he is simply Meanwhile, the Muslim community,


nearly 5 million strong, might be excused for feeling


a little under siege. As the political temperature rises,


parties of all persuasions seem to be focusing much of the national


angst on to the question of And some fear it has disturbing


implications for the cherished When you see policemen on the beach


asking, ordering women to undress, we are not anymore


in a state of law. and it is dangerous


for freedoms, in fact. None of this is worrying Le Pen


in the slightly surreal grandeur It is not hard to see why


he supports Donald Trump. He is also an admirer of


Vladimir Putin, a man of authority But what does he say to those


who accuse him of poisoning the well If history is anything to go by,


Marine Le Pen will make it through the first round and then


lose to an anyone-but-Le-Pen But these are not normal times,


and whether she wins or loses, some of the values she inherited


from her father are making an ever But the problem arises


when the image in question is considered one of the most


important of the 20th century - like this one, the Pulitzer Prize


winning Napalm Girl The image was recently posted


by Norwegian novelist Tom Egeland as part of a piece on photographs


that had changed history. It was soon removed by Facebook,


sparking outrage and the editor of Norway's largest printed


newspaper to write an open letter The iconic image was widely shared -


including by the Norwegian prime minister, until her


post was also removed. Just before we came on air,


Facebook reversed its decision But does this call into question


both the power and the judgement We're joined now by the Norwegian


Writer - Tom Egeland - And Tom, thank you for joining us


this evening. Do you have any sympathy with an organisation that


on one hand says it is not responsible enough, and on the other


says it is guilty of censorship? Well, yes, and in fact, I support


Facebook's policy against nakedness. We don't want pawn on Facebook so


the disagreement and the great disagreement in this case is whether


or not the iconic picture of this Vietnamese girl is about nakedness.


To me, it is not. It is a picture about war, about horror and about


children who are victims of war crimes. And fortunately, Facebook


tonight realised that their rather harsh judgment on this picture was


wrong and they have reversed their standpoint. It is a difficult one


where there is so much content and there is one algorithm. To take an


example, there was a young naked Syrian girl from a war that is still


going on and that was pictured on Facebook, would you consider that to


be a moment of history and war, or abuse and exposure? And that is the


exact dilemma that has made me want to focus on this case. Because,


unlike BBC, unlike the times, or newspapers, Facebook does not have


an editor. Facebook does not have an institution where somebody evaluates


different aspects and different values regarding a picture. To


Facebook, the world is a set of algorithms and rules. Do you think


it should be an arbiter or should it just be a platform? They insist they


are a technological platform. I disagree. Facebook is so huge. It


has so many followers, and all over the world, newspapers use Facebook


as a platform for not only spreading their news, but also their reader


comment. If Facebook's rule should overrule any newspaper rules, then


who is the editor? So in my view, Facebook should have, not only


editors, they should have national editors. So you would actually want


to see Facebook becoming, if you like, a world editor of other


journals and other publications who use it? In many ways, Facebook is


already those things. In certain regions of the world, Facebook and


the Internet are the same. Two people, Internet is Facebook. If you


see all the newspapers that use Facebook today, I find it hard to


differentiate between a technological platform and an


editorial platform. Tom Egeland, it is fascinating to speak to you.


Thank you for sharing your story will with us. Tom Egeland, the


Norwegian writer who we understand is still currently banned from


Facebook. That's all tonight, but before


we go, an extraordinary rescue operation in one of the most


dramatic locations on earth. More than 100 tourists were stranded


yesterday at an altitude of more than 12,000 ft above the glaciers


of Mont Blanc after wires carrying their cable


cars became tangled. It took some extraordinary flying


and an aerial ballet worthy of any Bond film before the first


passengers were rescued by helicopter, and it's given us


some pretty spectacular pictures. MUSIC: "You Only Live


Twice" by John Barry The weather looks mixed over the


weekend. This weather front will pop up at times, bringing rain through


central and south-eastern parts of England. Breezy and cloudy here.


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