Selective arguments

23rd October 1998 at 01:00
Yet again Roy Hattersley (TES, October 9) is given space to condemn selective schools.

His claim that "the case for comprehensive education has an intellectual not an ideological base" is surely open to question. It does not alter the fact that in practice not all schools are perfect and it is the actual experience of the children in school that is important, not the rhetoric. In fact many selective schools are highly effective at raising the academic and social achievements of their students - were this not the case parents would not go to the trouble of trying to secure places for their children despite the pressures widely exerted against doing so.

It makes no sense to say that closing successful schools on dogmatic grounds is in the best interests of the nation's children. Much better to build on what is good and incorporate it into a new vision of education in this country.

SM Roberts Headteacher Torquay Grammar for Girls 30 Shiphay Lane Torquay, Devon

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