March 26 Letters: Communities bear cost of grammar schools

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From: Michael Meadowcroft, Former Liberal MP, Waterloo Lane, Bramley, Leeds.

AS David Davis vividly demonstrates (The Yorkshire Post, March 21), nothing highlights the wide gulf between Conservatives and progressive politics than their attitude to grammar schools. He sees it as a way of enabling a minority of the 25 per cent who went to grammar schools to advance themselves socially. I, and others, see it as fostering social division as the few are separated from the disillusioned many at the tender age of 11.

As Peter Hain stated in his Liberal days, grammar schools “only perforate the system so that a few can climb through the holes” and thus escape from their poor communities, leaving them largely leaderless and disaffected.

We see around us in Leeds the consequences of social breakdown, fuelled by enabling natural leaders to move out.

Where in downtown Leeds are there doctors, lawyers, teachers and even councillors living in the communities they serve?

There might just be an argument for grammar schools if their academic results were startlingly better, but there is no evidence that they are any higher than the equivalent group in the community school and the latter have the benefit of experiencing the realities of modern society.