No winners

17th March 2000 at 00:00
Ballots have been discredited by the Ripon vote

YESTERDAY'S vote to retain selection at Ripon grammar has secured a welcome reprieve for a bastion of educational excellence, but has set back constructive debate about diversity in Britain's schools.

The verdict is only a stay of execution for the school, which could face another ballot in five years time. It has also brought cries of foul from comprhensive campaigners, who protest, with some justification, that the rules were rigged against them.

This mess is Mr Blunkett's doing. He has fulfilled his manifesto pledge to abolitionists; he should now have the courage to accept that it has failed teachers, parents and pupils. He should waste no time in abolishing not grammar schools, but his discredited ballot system.

Leader, Saturday

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