Slugger O'Toole

Conversation, politics and stray insights

Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate

Mon 21 May 2012, 12:20pm

Here’s something that won’t make relations between the Education and Finance ministers any easier.. An approving poll for a UK wide campaign to revive grammar schools has received a gushing review from Independent columnist Mary Anne Sieghart. It’s pegged to the general angst about stalled – even reversed – social mobility which all UK political parties share.  Nick Clegg will wring his hands about it again this week . If you wonder why the  references to Northern Ireland are unusually heavy for a UK wide theme when we’re usually ignored, look no further than at the website of the National Grammar Schools association which commissioned the ICM poll, chaired by our own socially mobile Shankill Road boy Bob McCartney. An astute and well- timed piece of publicity, whatever your views about a story of educational performance only half told.

So why doesn’t the thrusting Education Secretary for England Michael Gove  simply follow Bob’s line?  Well , he’s lifted the ban on grammar schools expanding where they already exist  Might he go further? The Blairtie columnist John Rentoul quotes admiringly  from a Gove interview in the right wing intellectual magazine Standpoint.

As long as the coalition lasts I don’t think there is any room for manoeuvre. I don’t think the Liberal Democrats would countenance any form of selection. Selection is an incendiary subject in England. My view is that it’s better to avoid it because you can make much more progress in other areas. Selection is not a necessary condition of having a successful education system. 

Pressure to restore the grammar schools pops up regularly – unsurprisingly given the lack of  confidence in secondary school standards, particularly in  the big cities.  But the Conservatives would be  wary of reintroducing selection into the present pattern of secondary schools even if they won a majority government. In practice it could prove to be more intensely divisive than any existing entry system even by lottery. That would invite  political disaster.

The clock cannot be rolled back to 1944.  Gove is going instead for greater transparency, choice and specialism through an academies programme and bearing down on teaching standards which many hope will recreate the best characteristics of grammar schools without academic selection on entry.  It’s no quick fix and may turn out to be only the latest half baked reform. But re-introducing selection is no magic bullet and would be politically incendiary.           

From the Sieghart piece.

Of course, the few grammar schools that are left (164 in England and 68 in Northern Ireland) educate a lot of well-off children. But they also offer fantastic opportunities for bright pupils from poor backgrounds, an opportunity that is denied to pupils in Scotland, Wales and four-fifths of England.

The highest ratio of acceptances to applications at Cambridge is from Northern Ireland. It is also the only part of the country that never introduced the comprehensive system..

When selection was first introduced, the secondary moderns were the neglected repositories for the 11-plus failures. Their pupils then spent more time on cooking or metalwork than Latin and weren’t expected to succeed. But a selective secondary school system doesn’t have to be like that.

In Northern Ireland, the non-grammar schools do well, too – a few of them better than their selective rivals. Overall, the province easily outperforms England: 88.5 per cent of Northern Irish pupils get three A-levels, compared with 82 per cent of English ones.

If we moved to more selection, the grammar/secondary-modern divide needn’t be nearly as stark as it used to be.

From the website

‘The popularity of politicians is at an extremely low level and a general election is due very soon’, said Robert McCartney QC, the chairman of the NGSA. ‘It’s unbelievable that none of our three largest political parties seriously supports either existing grammar schools or the idea of opening new ones where there’s parental demand. If they want our votes, they should offer what the public wants.’

 

Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Delicious Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Digg Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Facebook Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Google+ Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on LinkedIn Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Pinterest Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on reddit Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on StumbleUpon Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Twitter Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Add to Bookmarks Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Email Share 'Grammar schools and social mobility: a Northern Ireland contribution to the debate' on Print Friendly

Comments (29)

  1. “If they want our votes, they should offer what the public wants.”

    Great piece of leadership from Bob there. ‘You tell me what you want, and I’ll support it’.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  2. PaulT (profile) says:

    “Overall, the province easily outperforms England: 88.5 per cent of Northern Irish pupils get three A-levels, compared with 82 per cent of English ones.”

    if this is the evidence for the arguement, it’s pants. You can not do a rational comparison of two groups when one is 1.8million and the other is 60+ million,

    Not to mention omitting faith schools which are a sizable % in cities and in NI, esp as faith schools tend to be regarded as better than state schools and many on a par with grammar schools.

    So really factor all that in and I can’t see any difference between having Grammar schools or not.

    But, more than happy for them to be allowed as long as they are self funded and taxed like any other company and not like Eton is at the moment ie a tax free charity.

    But of course this is Peter Robinsons crusade, wonder what he thinks!

    BTW, you do know that ICM Poll is over two years out of date

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  3. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    I think in the context of NI the Catholic schools (for by and large that’s what we mean in NI by faith schools) have a tighter management system that allows them greater flexibility flexibility to meet real need.

    I also suspect they and the voluntary sector have been better (as a general rule) at keeping an specific school ethos than the controlled sector.

    The JRF poverty monitor found high correlation between free school meals and early discontinuation of education:

    School leavers on free school meals are twice as likely as other pupils to go into employment or training (40 per cent of boys and 20 per cent of girls on free school meals do so).

    There are some data from those areas where selection is still in force in England that show some very dramatic differences in Grammar entry based on postcode. And that’s in areas without the drift downward in the qualifying levels we see in Northern Ireland.

    Simply put, the middle class are successfully gaming the best publicly funded educational resources for their offspring.

    If the social mobility schtick that used to hold is no longer conferred by the tripartite system of the 44 reforms, then I’d argue the whole problem needs to be looked at again, from basics up…

    To cite my favourite (erm, only) Wittgenstein quote:

    Don’t get involved in partial problems, but always take flight to where there is a free view over the whole single great problem, even if this view is still not a clear one.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  4. Old Mortality (profile) says:

    Mick
    ‘School leavers on free school meals are twice as likely as other pupils to go into employment or training (40 per cent of boys and 20 per cent of girls on free school meals do so).’
    It’s my experience that some parents in that social bracket don’t want their children to attend selective schools, sometimes on the grounds that not all their children will be selected: ‘what’s good enough for one is good enough for them all’.
    It would be useful to discover if the correlation between free school meals and academic failure was so pronounced in non-selective schools, especially the few which are genuinely comprehensive.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  5. Alanbrooke (profile) says:

    The difference is even greater than presented, NI exams are “harder” than english ones generally speaking, since academic standards in England are less ambitious. Catholic grammar schools have been best placed on results within NI, when I was younger the BBC quoted there was statistically a better chance of a child from the Falls getting in to Oxbridge than a child from England. Why the catholic population of NI want to restrict their childrens’ future is a mystery to me.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  6. Mick Fealty (profile) says:

    This goes back to PaulT’s point though.

    In general, England’s aggregate figures draw achievement levels downwards. If there were more direct parallels drawn with Scotland it might be of more practical use.

    But it also true that the UK’s figures on international standards are heading downwards both regionally and nationally.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  7. iluvni (profile) says:

    “Why the catholic population of NI want to restrict their childrens’ future is a mystery to me.”

    Why that disgraced church is permitted to have any say in the education of any child in this country is beyond me.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  8. derrydave (profile) says:

    As a grateful benificiary of a grammer school education, it may seem a little ‘ungrateful’ of me to state that I believe that the system has to change. Those who attend grammer schools do very well on the whole as these schools attract the best teachers and best resources, however it has to be said that they are also full of the middle classes, with most of those in working class areas not being able to take advantage of this fantastic education and instead being dumped into inferior schools where failure is the accepted norm. Yes, we all know working class kids (like my good self :-)) who have gone to grammer schools and transformed their lives through the education they received – however we are the exception rather than the norm. Only 3-5 kids per class (of around 25-30) in my primary school passed the 11-plus and went to grammer school. Failing, and going to the local ‘high school’ was for most the beginning of the end in terms of education. Sad but true.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  9. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    “grammer schools” dd?

    Good grief, at least get the grammar right.

    Actually the point about selective schools having better teachers is anecdotal at best. They tend to be exam factories these days. However Gove’s changes to the GCSE and A level examinations are not being mirrored here in NI. These are intended to make exams in England more rigorous. Altough schools can take the option of the mainland exam boards, possibly leaving a 2 tier exam system to mirror our school system.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  10. aquifer (profile) says:

    Q1 “The highest ratio of acceptances to applications at Cambridge is from Northern Ireland.”

    ANS: Because very few applied, and those that do have been ubergroomed by a class ridden and unjust system.

    Discuss: Is it really OK that well off middle class parents can pay tutors thousands of pounds to have their children jump the educational queue?

    Or is there nothing new under the sun? Parents used to pay fees to get their kids who failed the ’11 plus’ into Grammar School for the first year with the prospect of resitting their ‘Quali’ the following year and the state paying from then on.

    TRANSLATE: Plus ca change mais plus s’est la meme chose.

    CHOSE ONE ANSWER
    Competition increases economic productivity when:
    1 Producers become less efficient
    2 Poverty is the destruction of the rich
    3 Our own children get a heat start

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  11. Reader (profile) says:

    aquifer: Discuss: Is it really OK that well off middle class parents can pay tutors thousands of pounds to have their children jump the educational queue?
    Interesting interpretation – what are the numbers for private tuition for Oxbridge? And is there any evidence that it is affecting the outcome?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  12. BluesJazz (profile) black spot says:

    aquifier
    True about the ‘resit’ for borderliners, but you should have added that secondary schools could transfer very bright puplils across to grammars pre O level, back in the days of CSE’s and GCE O Levels.

    The 11 plus was a basic Eynsenck IQ test of numeracy and literacy. Some late developers failed at 11 but went on to shine when transferred to grammars later, some shone at ‘Tech’ when they all did academic subjects as well as vocational. Only BMC does that now.

    Some grammars regarded QUB as ‘basic’ -ie below mainland Russell group- and UU ‘Poly’ as fail. Which is fair enough given their status.
    Queen’s is mid table premiership (WBA) and UUJ and UUC are Blue Square league Kidderminster Harriers.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  13. Zig70 (profile) says:

    “Why the catholic population of NI want to restrict their childrens’ future is a mystery to me.”
    The point is (we?) don’t want to restrict our childrens future in order to benefit the few.
    The measurement is wrong. A school should be measured on how much it improves it’s students. To measure on the top results when schools can choose the players is just bad statistics. It’s like claiming Man City won the league because they have the best coaches.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  14. Lionel Hutz (profile) says:

    When I hear about the grammar school debate, I would love to know what proportion of children get tutored. I am only 26 but I think I remember one girl in my primary school class getting tutored. Is it really so different now 15 years on or is it just a cliche?

    Im always conflicted on the selection debate. I will never forget that my best friend in primary school was not allowed, by his parents, to go to the open day of the grammar school that I eventually went to so that he would not get his hopes up and then the primary school principal advising him not to do the 11+ even though he wanted to. I saw that resentment that built up years later. So I’ve always been in principle against selection.

    But then I have this big unanswered question about what rural children are supposed to do. My wife-to-be grew up in the very west of Tyrone and went to school in a Grammar in Omagh. She just would not have gotten in had it not been for academic selection. She lived 30 miles away. The social mobility argument may be a cliche at this stage but for those in rural areas in particular, there seems to me to be a truth in it. With no selection, you have a choice, either be happy with the rural secondary school or move to a place with what you may consider as a better school. Only the well-off would have that choice. Those in the border areas, which are often already deprived will be hit hardest.

    Until I have an answer to that conundrum, I support Academic Selection.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  15. articles (profile) says:

    Quote. Q1 “The highest ratio of acceptances to applications at Cambridge is from Northern Ireland.”
    Quote. ANS: Because very few applied, and those that do have been ubergroomed by a class ridden and unjust system.

    Not necessarily so, but it does help if you have someone who can identify a “chav” College which takes more State school youngsters, or can identify say an Irish or Welsh College.

    Quote. Discuss: Is it really OK that well off middle class parents can pay tutors thousands of pounds to have their children jump the educational queue?

    No of course not, but don’t kid yourself it ends at age eleven. It goes on to GCEs, A levels, university including Oxbridge.

    Quote.Interesting interpretation – what are the numbers for private tuition for Oxbridge? And is there any evidence that it is affecting the outcome?

    Someone close to me tutes kids for Oxbridge, it works.

    Quote. When I hear about the grammar school debate, I would love to know what proportion of children get tutored. I am only 26 but I think I remember one girl in my primary school class getting tutored. Is it really so different now 15 years on or is it just a cliche?

    When someone close to me was at primary someone close was the only one who didn’t end up having tutoring despite the denials of their parents.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  16. Alanbrooke (profile) says:

    aquifer

    tosh . Do you think a child elsewhere doesn’t get prepped and tutored up when he applies to Oxbridge ? It’s the fact the grammar schools and their parents will do this, that is to NI pupils advantage. Only the private sector and the remaining grammar schools in the rest of the UK bother.

    zig70

    while equality is all very commendable, changing a system which enhances social mobility to one which kills it stone dead isn’t the right way to go about it. Give it 10 years and the private sector in NI will start to expand as the politicians will need somewhere to send their own children as prospects for everyone else decline.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  17. DoppiaVu (profile) says:

    I read the Independent piece with great interest yesterday morning. As a working class kids that passed my “quali” and went on to a grammar, my own personal experience was that it completely transformed my life.

    And the reason? Not the quality of teaching, which was patchy. Not the school facilities, which were in serious need of reinvestment. No, the main reason was that I actually found myself mixing with a) kids that lived outside my own immediate geographical area and thus had different perspectives; and b) rich kids. Both of these things contributed towards widening my outlook and raising my aspirations.

    If we could come up with a non-grammar system which could instill aspiration into kids who come from working class environments where aspiration isn’t generally encouraged, I’d be all for it.

    In its absence, I’d prefer that at least a proportion of poor kids get a crack at making something of themselves. So on balance I guess I still would support grammars.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  18. “As a grateful benificiary of a grammer school education” — says it all, really.

    Well, perhaps not quite.

    The main pressure to remove 11+ segregation in England came from … the aspiring middle-classes. Yes, indeed. And, doubtless, would again.

    That’s the problem with selection: more are excluded than are included. On top of that it is essential to build unfairness into the system: this used to be defended on the ground that “girls mature earlier than boys”.

    So there’s the next complication: how can selection be done on affair basis, especially since no testing regime can work (refer back to the previous sentence for why).

    Ah, let’s have an IQ test! IQ tests notoriously test the ability to do IQ tests. So, we don’t use IQ tests, we have tests in “verbal reasoning”. Well, that’s class-based: bourgeois kids from practice have language skills denied the lower orders. Well, we’ll blame that on parenting, and give away vouchers in Boots (the lower orders get their stuff, not from Boots, but from the Poundsavers and 99p stores — cunning, what?)

    Now, how many do we select? There’s only room for — what? — 20-25%. We can’t have heaven crammed! Of course, with the class thing, it’d be 50% in the Cheltenhams, but only 15% in the Barnsleys. Another little bit of class-gerrymandering.

    OK, what about the next decile, next quartile among the rejected, or those parents who fear their wee darling may not make the cut? They vote, you know. They lobby, and they get good at it. Those are the types who would want selection changed.

    Now, does anyone wish a guided tour around Mary Ann Bighead’s Greatest Hits (see Private Eye over many years) and the dedicated élitist views she regularly inflicts upon consumers of newsprint?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  19. Actually, I do know of at least one instance of “selection be[ing] done on affair basis”. I’d blame it on the predictive spelling in MacOs: the intention was “a fair basis”.

    Apologies.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  20. derrydave (profile) says:

    “As a grateful benificiary of a grammer school education” — says it all, really.

    :-) :-) :-)

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  21. Reader (profile) says:

    Malcolm Redfellow: On top of that it is essential to build unfairness into the system: this used to be defended on the ground that “girls mature earlier than boys”.
    You can probably get whatever balance of outcome you think is fair by changing the format and content of the tests to reward pushy, geeky boys at the expense of focused, nerdy girls or vice versa.
    Even back in the bad old days when boys outscored girls, it was still a truism that girls matured earlier. Competitiveness trumps maturity given the opportunity.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  22. I had a longer, more boring response, showing the inequalities in the selective model. My favourite was the remarkable finding that almost equal numbers of each gender are “selected” for NI grammar schools. However, there must be something badly wrong with that selection: 3As at A-level comes out severely skewed: around a 57/43% split.

    That post disappeared into the cyber-aether, never to be sniffed again.

    Which leaves one thought. Is education something that must be rationed, that we can no longer afford? Why is it essential to build “competitiveness”, “at the expense of” others, into the system? We’ve given up on such norm-basing (only a pre-determined fraction can “pass”) as a mark of “success” in examinations in schools and universities, preferring “criterion-basing” (demonstrate the ability or skill, get the grade). Except at 11+.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  23. Reader (profile) says:

    Malcolm redfellow: Why is it essential to build “competitiveness”, “at the expense of” others, into the system?
    I don’t worship “competitiveness” – it’s just one of the things that delivers achievement. And if it can be recruited to rescue an underachieving sector – e.g. working class boys – then it should be used. Unless you think that sector is already performing at full capacity, and they are getting exactly the results they deserve, from a system that understands how to motivate everyone.
    On your general point, rationing, I’ll gladly set aside utility for the moment – but what proportion of the population is ready to benefit on a personal level from an intensive, academic style of education? I suspect the answer is well under a half.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  24. The best put-down, when a student goes into a rant, and entirely misses the point, is along the lines of “I think you’ve said enough”.

    Similarly, Reader @ 8:08 am sees the process of education as another example of economic nature red in tooth and claw [Tennyson, In Memoriam A.H.H.]. In that world, education would be designating the masters of the universe from the hewers of wood and drawers of water. It’s not: it’s the process of extracting the best out of each and every student. It even involves co-operation and tolerance, even a bit of human feeling.

    Let’s have a bit of Chomsky to fill out an otherwise mediocre and unconvincing post:

    Everybody reads the first paragraph of The Wealth of Nations where he talks about how wonderful the division of labor is. But not many people get to the point hundreds of pages later, where he says that division of labor will destroy human beings and turn people into creatures as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be. And therefore in any civilized society the government is going to have to take some measures to prevent division of labor from proceeding to its limits.
    There are huge efforts that do go into making people, to borrow Adam Smith’s phrase, “as stupid and ignorant as it is possible for a human being to be.” A lot of the educational system is designed for that, if you think about it, it’s designed for obedience and passivity. From childhood, a lot of it is designed to prevent people from being independent and creative. If you’re independent-minded in school, you’re probably going to get into trouble very early on. That’s not the trait that’s being preferred or cultivated. When people live through all this stuff, plus corporate propaganda, plus television, plus the press and the whole mass, the deluge of ideological distortion that goes on, they ask questions that from another point of view are completely reasonable….

    Humboldt, the founder of classical liberalism, his view was that education is a matter of laying out a string along which the child will develop, but in its own way. You may do some guiding. That’s what serious education would be from kindergarten up through graduate school. You do get it in advanced science, because there’s no other way to do it.

    But most of the educational system is quite different. Mass education was designed to turn independent farmers into docile, passive tools of production. That was its primary purpose. And don’t think people didn’t know it. They knew it and they fought against it. There was a lot of resistance to mass education for exactly that reason. It was also understood by the elites. Emerson once said something about how we’re educating them to keep them from our throats. If you don’t educate them, what we call “education,” they’re going to take control — “they” being what Alexander Hamilton called the “great beast,” namely the people. The anti-democratic thrust of opinion in what are called democratic societies is really ferocious. And for good reason. Because the freer the society gets, the more dangerous the great beast becomes and the more you have to be careful to cage it somehow.

    So, let’s be radical.

    Sadly (and following to some extent the logic of Reader @ 8:08 am‘s second paragraph), the best way to “rescue an underachieving sector – e.g. working class boys” might well be to teach them how to make Molotov Cocktails, because the present entrenched social system doesn’t give a damn. However, every revolution has been developed by the lawyers (England, 1640s; America, 1770s; France, 1789; Russia, 1917) — and now the English Criminal Bar Association are threatened to go on strike.

    Perhaps I’ve said enough.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  25. Reader (profile) says:

    Malcolm Redfellow: Perhaps I’ve said enough.
    It depends. If you are suggesting that, after all, it doesn’t make a blind bit of difference whether a pupil has been selected or not, because it’s all about indoctrination anyway – then, yes, you have said enough.
    Or maybe not – with revolution via Molotov Cocktails being one of the options, would you recommend that current pupils should choose to be indoctrinated in history or in chemistry to A-level?

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  26. Reader @ 6:31 pm:

    Last minute advice to desperate examinees: RTFQ.

    “What’s that mean?”

    “Read the question.”

    “But what does the F stand for?”

    “Read the full question.”

    So, to you, sir: RTFP (P for posting, of course).

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  27. articles (profile) says:

    The eleven plus requires a certain level of literacy and numeracy. At least twenty percent of the adult population could not even attempt it. Why because they do not have even basic levels of literacy and numeracy. If every child could complete the eleven plus before they left school , be it at 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 then we’ve cracked literacy and numeracy. Whatever your views on the eleven plus and its failings it has some value as a benchmark. As far as I am aware there are no other independent benchmarks before GCSEs.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  28. articles @ 7:07 pm:

    As far as I am aware there are no other independent benchmarks before GCSEs

    I assume “independent” translates as “don’t-trust-the-professionals”.

    Well, there are baseline assessments at each phase.

    As far back as 1999 John Gardner of QUB was explaining to the BERA what was happening in NI. Oh, look! It’s here on line!.

    I’ll leave you to update how devastatingly successful our political lords and masters have been since then. Or you can check here.

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0
  29. articles (profile) says:

    Ah BERA. I remember they came to Belfast some years ago and I attended a few sessions. The real conference was elsewhere and Belfast got the papers that didn’t make the cut or so it seemed .

    Educationalists yes I know quite a few. Almost without exception their children attend or attended grammar schools. Can’t blame the political Lords and Masters for that.

    but enough of the mud the eleven plus was and is flawed but as of now not sure as to its replacement, the Germans seem to have got it right

    What do you think?
    (Log in or register to judge or mark as offensive)
    Commend 0

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Copyright © 2003 - 2014 Slugger O'Toole Ltd. All rights reserved.
Powered by WordPress; produced by Puffbox.
153 queries. 0.705 seconds.