Letter: Education - Focus on good schools for all

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Theresa May’s plan to bring back grammar schools has, thankfully, been condemned by all sides of the political spectrum, including her own.

If Harrogate were to introduce the system, it would increase house prices even further in the school’s vicinity and those able to afford extra tuition would be prepared to ensure their child would not “fail”. This already happens where these schools exist.

Far from increasing life chances for the disadvantaged, the opposite happens.

One cannot bring back grammars without supporting secondary moderns where the majority would go.

There would no longer be true comprehensives where selective schools existed.

In Harrogate we have an excellent, fully comprehensive system, unlike so many parts of the country. Long may it last. This should be the norm throughout the country.

Many studies have shown that the policy would have the opposite effect for disadvantaged children and that good comprehensives are the best for all children. The chances of poorer children gaining these places are slim.

International evidence has shown that more selection does not lead to higher attainment. Bright children will perform just as well at good comprehensives.

She should be focusing her energy on improving schools for all children.

In the words of our ex Chancellor, George Osborne, “80 per cent of the political discussion is about where 20 per cent of the children will go, when we should be focusing on where 80 per cent of the children will go in a selective system”.

Even Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron did not promote such a regressive step. Is Justine Greening just the PM’s puppet?

In areas where grammar schools remain (e g Ripon) the fight to get to the grammar is on from the day of school entry.

There’s enough pressure on children and parents today without adding to it even further.

Surely our new Prime Minister has more pressing issues to address than turning back the clocks.

Many people today are still living with the stigma of “failure” because they failed to secure a place at the local grammar during the 50s and 60s.

Anne Boodt

Jenny Field Drive,

Harrogate