Access to excellence for all, not selection at 14, should be our aim

6th February 2009 at 00:00

I have long held the belief that the educational leaving age should be raised to 18 and the school leaving age lowered to 14. In light of that belief, I judge that Geoff Lucas's argument for selection at 14 is half right. It would make sense if, after three years of orientation, 14-year-olds were able to pursue different kinds of courses of study. But, unlike Geoff Lucas, my emphasis would be on self-selection of courses, to be pursued in a variety of educational settings - both formal and informal, school and non-school.

I wonder, would Lucas's "world-class selective schools in the independent sector" be able, or willing, to cope with the consequences?

Professor Colin Richards, Spark Bridge, Cumbria.

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