..unless you count A-levels

17th September 2004 at 01:00
Your article gave the highly misleading impression that there is little to choose between the academic results of comprehensives and grammar schools.

This is because evidence from A-level results is ignored. On this basis, comprehensives come in a second league compared with grammars and private schools, achieving at best an average score of three B grades at A-level.

Moreover, these results are achieved by the minority of about 10 to 15 per cent who make it through the sixth form, and thus highly "selected" even by grammar school standards.

The success of the comprehensives is thus due to a "grammar" minority, and this explains the anxiety of comprehensive proponents lest this "middle-class" element should opt out of the comps altogether, which would leave them in a state of total failure.

Nigel Probert

15B South Snowdon Wharf

Porthmadog

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