If social mobility relied on grammars, it would be at a standstill

17th July 2009 at 01:00
Letter to the editor

Stephen Pollard might inform himself better if he actually looked at the current reality of a wholly selective area such as Kent (Grammars: working-class pupils' last hope, July 10). Working-class children do not get a look-in at the grammar schools here. The 11-plus test is taken in September of Year 6 - so it is a 10-plus test. Does Mr Pollard believe that testing children at 10 years old is reliable or valid?

Many parents spend vast amounts of money on private tutoring or private primary education to ensure that their child passes the test. The wage packet of parents is the biggest determinant of who gets into a grammar school. Meanwhile, 70 per cent of Kent's pupils begin secondary school as "failures" and go to secondary moderns. Over a third of Kent secondary schools fall below the Government's 30 per cent threshold for GCSE results.

Social selection and educational apartheid is reinforced by the grammar school system in Kent. Mr Pollard is living in la-la land if he thinks otherwise.

Rebecca Matthews, Kent parent.

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