Divisive selection must end

20th November 1998 at 00:00
ROGER Hale, head of Caistor grammar, Lincolnshire, is mystified by the Campaign for State Education's campaign to end selection ("It works. Why change it?", TES, November 6) .

CASE's campaign challenges the idea that a world-class education system can be based on testing children to make decisions about their potential at 11, segregating friends and siblings and dividing communities. Wanting to end the divisiveness of selection is what motivates CASE.

Mr Hale accuses CASE of "interfering" by "orchestrating" local campaigns from our "drawing rooms". Only local parents will be able to sign petitions and ballots. Campaigners will need first to get 20 per cent of eligible parents to sign a petition to initiate a ballot. Parents, teachers and governors wanting to see an end to selection by working together will need to set up local groups.

We aim to put supporters in touch with others locally. Our website (www. mandolin.demon.co.uk sayno) and e-mail newsletter keeps supporters informed. If that is what is meant by "orchestrating", that is certainly what we intend to do. We must expect mud-slinging to be part of these campaigns, but what a cheek, accusing me of having a drawing room.

Margaret Tulloch Say No to Selection CASE, 158 Durham Road, London SW20

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