What teachers say about selection

17th March 2000 at 00:00
Gwen Temple, maths teacher at Highcliffe School, Christchurch, Dorset:

"Maybe things have changed, but I had a very unhappy time when I was at a grammar school. I was never told I was any good, and did not get the encouragement I give pupils. Pupils at the bottom of the grammar school get treated very unfairly.

"In a comprehensive they would be above average and given a lot more encouragement. Pastoral care in a comprehensive school is better than in grammar schools."

Frank Power, senior teacher at Oakwood school, Horley, Surrey:

"I would be happy to see grammar schools abolished, but this has to be done sensitively and I applaud the Government's present policy of consultation."

Mike Wilson, IT teacher at Alperton Community school, Wembley, Middlesex:

"The Ripon vote was stacked in favour of one result and one result only. All grammar schools should be abolished to create a level playing field for teachers and pupils. My school does not benefit from selection either in terms of good pupils or resources. I suspect that is why Labour MPs send their children to selective schools rather than the local comprehensive."

Michael Youlton, headteacher, Shenley Primary school, Hertfordshire:

"I am against selection in any shape or for. I am old-fashioned enough to believe in comprehensive education in its most broad form, which is all-inclusive. I can't see where grammar or selective schools fit into that."

John Rees, chemistry teacher at St Francis Xavier school,Richmond, North Yorkshire:

"I am against selection because students develop at different rates. I teach the full range of ability so am in a good position to comment. In a comprehensive, late developers can gain a great deal of success. I have seen children who are struggling in the early years blossom and become very successful. If they are selected at 11, that success can be hindered."

Andy Dobson, nursery teacher at Southern Road Nursery school in Newham, East London:

"Parents are in favour of grammar schools as long as their children can get in. Anyone can get good results by creaming off the best achievers - the real issue is what happens to the other schools and the self-esteem of the pupils who don't get into the 'best' school.There is an issue about how the state system copes with more able pupils and selection is one way of doing it. Clearly it shows that many people are not happy with comprehensive education. Perhaps there should be an open debate about the way forward for 11-plus education."

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