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

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

As a former working-class direct-grant grammar school boy from Bradford, I have followed the recent correspondence in The TES with interest.

There is no doubt that my education contributed massively to where I am today: headteacher of a working-class comprehensive in a south Derbyshire former mining community, where my pupils do not, as Stephen Pollard suggests, "fester". They achieve above the national average. They achieve their dreams. The school has good teachers, good discipline and supportive parents. These things are not the preserve of the middle classes.

The "last hope" for working-class pupils is not a place at grammar school, but a place in a good comprehensive wherever they live. Grammars seem still to do well for the pupils for whom they cater. Very many comprehensives also do well, even if they are not in middle-class areas.

Let's not waste any more hot air over the grammar schools debate, and just get on with making sure every pupil achieves and flourishes, whether we are comprehensives, grammar schools or secondary moderns.

Barrie Scott, Headteacher, Granville Community School, Swadlincote, Derbyshire.

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