Theresa May: I have just chaired a meeting of Cabinet where we agreed that the Government should call a general election to be held on the 8th June. I want to explain the reasons for that decision, what will happen next and the choice facing the British people when you come to vote in this election. Last summer after the country voted to leave the European Union, Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership and since I became Prime Minister the Government has delivered precisely that. Despite predictions of immediate financial and economic danger since the referendum we have seen consumer confidence remain high, record numbers of jobs and economic growth that has exceeded all expectations.
The referendum last June was a vote to leave the European Union. But it was also a vote for change – to shape a brighter future for our country, to make it stronger and fairer, and to embrace the world. And it is the job of this Conservative Government to deliver it and to get the right deal for Britain as we do.
We seek a new and equal partnership – between an independent, self-governing Global Britain and our friends and allies in the European Union. We are leaving the EU, not Europe.
That means taking the opportunity of this great moment of national change to step back and ask ourselves what kind of country we want to be. To pursue 12 objectives that amount to one goal: a new, positive and constructive partnership between Britain and the European Union.
The Prime Minister has said that she wants to build a country that works for everyone – and for me that starts with our schools.
Providing a good school place for every child is an essential part of this Government’s vision for Britain, with schools that can cater for every child’s talents, abilities and needs.
Grammar schools are popular with parents, and provide stretching education for the most academically able, regardless of their background. We know that grammar schools can help close the attainment gap between disadvantaged children and their better off classmates. But since 1998 there has been a ban on opening new, selective state schools. This makes it harder to get the good new school places we need, and harder for children whose parents cannot afford to move house or go private to benefit from the most stretching academic education.
So we will lift the ban on new grammar schools and allow them to open where parents want them. We will have strict conditions to make sure they improve the education of pupils in every other part of the system. And we will encourage more people, schools and institutions with something to offer, to come forward and help deliver more good school places.
Thank you for your support.
Secretary of State for Education
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