Everyone to benefit

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The column by Sharon Hodgson MP sets out a view on grammar schools that is both at odds with the reality of what is being proposed and the benefits of selective education for the poorest pupils.

Contrary to what she says, no one has suggested a return to the binary choice of grammar schools and secondary moderns so quoting statistics from Kent– where that system survives – is irrelevant.

Recent proposals would allow grammar schools to open where parents want them with the condition that they work to improve all local schools by supporting non-selective and underperforming schools.

New grammar schools would also have to take a proportion of pupils from low income families so that everyone, regardless of financial means, can benefit from the advantages of selective education.

These benefits are clear with selective state schools dominating entrance to the most competitive universities; performing most strongly in public examinations and with 80% being rated outstanding.

Sadly, some in the Labour Party disagree and choose to send their own children to selective schools but oppose them for others on the hypocritical basis that the rest of us should ‘do as I say, not do as I do’.

Councillor Robert Oliver

St Michael’s Ward