Maria Miller, MP for Basingstoke, visited the neighbouring NW Hants Constituency to talk to the Overton Branch of the Conservative Association. A Pre-Lunch Drinks Party was held at Roundwood, the home of Susanna Church.
Maria Miller, a Front-Bench Spokesman on Education, robustly defended the Party's Policy on Grammar Schools, saying that setting and streaming within schools was the right approach. "This enables children who are late developers to be moved from one stream to another one, whereas selection at 11 plus is less flexible."
She defended the existing grammar schools and said that counties that still had them should be free to build more, to cope with a rising population; but policy should focus on making the vast majority of schools, which were now comprehensive, better. She did not detect an appetite amomngst parents to go back to selection - not least because the majority would find their children did not get into a grammar school.
She also said that the new Prime Minister might find it difficult to persuade the country he was the agent of change, as he was so closely identified with domestic policies under Tony Blair.
Sir George thanked Maria for speaking in his constituency and congratulated Graham Lambert on organising such a successful event.