Grammars, not sets, are barbarous

28th March 2003 at 00:00
Professor Ball is wrong about setting (TES, March 14). Setting is merely a strategy which helps teachers to cope. As my PGCE tutor, Professor Ted Wragg, pointed out recently, even he found mixed-ability teaching difficult. More ordinary mortals find it utterly overwhelming.

But the middle classes do commit educational "barbarism" by sending their children to grammar schools and moving house to be near schools that score well in the league tables.

Unfortunately, the tables have been a godsend to those who want to ensure that their offspring will have as little contact as possible with children from less privileged social classes.

Unlike many inspectors and government ministers, most middle-class parents have little doubt that schools score well in tests and examinations only if they are attended by sufficient numbers of bright children.

The only way to stop the middle classes from perpetuating this kind of "barbaric" social exclusion is to have nothing but inclusive comprehensive schools.

Masha Bell 24 Filleul Road Wareham, Dorset

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number

Comments

The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now