Ubiquitous grammars were a leg-up

22nd June 2012 at 01:00

In your leader last week ("Bring back grammars? Don't be daft") you failed to take into account a very important point. Today there are very few state grammar schools, meaning that the middle classes dominate because they have the means and desire to move into a grammar school catchment area, whereas "in my day" grammars were in every city and county, so no such movement was necessary. Born into a middle-class home, I made many friends in grammar school from the local council estates. Some of their parents were uninterested in the education of their children, who nevertheless passed the 11-plus. So off they went, gaining an opportunity that meant that, later on, many of my friends in university came from working-class backgrounds. If (and it won't happen unless UKIP comes to power) grammar schools were reintroduced nationwide, this social mobility would once again become available. To my socialist mind, the real scandal of the old grammar schools was the lack of proper provision for those who did not pass the 11-plus, not that some working-class kids actually got a leg-up in our social system.

Tom Trust, Redruth, Cornwall.

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