Roger Rowe`s views of grammar schools must be challenged, if not repudiated. (Letters, 13/12/13) Of course, he was "given an opportunity", but how many were denied one, and instead, given an education in a secondary modern, because a test at the age of 11 had designated them as having no potential. In comprehensive schools, created in the knowledge that students` intelligence and potential continue to develop after 11, all pupils get an "opportunity".He also says that poor examination results were "not the fault of the schools". Really? In my two-form entry grammar, half were immediately written off and put into the B stream, where the teachers were even less enthusiastic, the subjects, naturally, "less academic", and the results disappointing or worse.
The sudden laudation of grammar schools is to be expected because it is increasingly being realised that their return is the whole point of Gove`s examination reforms; schools with only 20% of their pupils capable of examination success will be forced to adopt less rigorous curricula, whilst schools with 80% will force out the minority so they can concentrate on topping spurious league tables. Disappointingly, the penny has yet to drop in all political circles, hardly surprising perhaps, when so few of our opposition politicians are able to respond to such Tory propaganda as propounded in this letter, largely because of their education in private schools.
As for Martin Kettle`s nonsense about "the most memorable teachers" only being employed in private schools, don`t even get me started!