Selective queries

16th February 2001 at 00:00
What is the evidence base for the Government's decision to create more specialist secondaries? What has caused it to change from its "standards not structures" philosophy? Why ignore the research which shows that a balanced social mix of pupils contributes to higher achievement across the board?

Perhaps ministers honestly believe that the policy - in pratice, selective - will not produce a lumpen proletariat? Is this some kind of post-modernist permanent revolution? Estelle Morris seems to think so - "schools cannot stay the same, they have to change" she told Radio 4's PM programme. How so, if so many "bog standard" schools are already doing so well?

Professor Margaret Maden Keele University

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