From: John Appleyard, Firthcliffe Parade, Liversedge.
I DID wonder why Nicky Morgan was sacked as Education Secretary in July, and now we know why. She is opposed to Theresa May’s plans for a new generation of selective grammar schools.
From 1944 onwards, our education system became a question of grammar or secondary modern, all decided by the 11-plus exam which divided children into winners and losers even before they’d reached the age of puberty. Grammar schools had three times more money spent on them, they had the best teachers and facilities, with a secure route to higher education.
This must have had a detrimental effect on the morale of the surrounding schools.
Margaret Thatcher was a supporter of grammar schools but recognised that the 11-plus had probably lost the Tory Party the 1964 general election and Bradford became the first English city to abolish selection at 11-plus for its maintained schools. Grammar schools have increasingly become the preserve of the better off and did not feature in the Conservative election manifesto.
Jeremy Corbyn and the Labour Party are right to oppose these proposals.
From: ME Wright, Harrogate.
I’M very glad to hear that Neil McNicholas’s headteacher failed in his “rain in Spain” endeavours (The Yorkshire Post, September 12).
The nightmare of a Middlesbrough infested with legions of linguistic male Margaret Thatchers is too horrible to imagine.
I share many of Fr Neil’s views on the education topic. “Social mobility” seems to have been coined by opportunistic politicians. It reeks of snobbery, with its thinly-veiled assertion that we fortunate grammar school types are socially superior to those left behind in whatever the new name for secondary modern might be.
Theresa May’s mistaken wheeze fails to acknowledge that comprehensives work very well indeed in many areas, including Harrogate.
Surely the answer should be to sort out those who fail, rather than rendering them even more statistically “unsuccessful” by removing their more academically-gifted pupils?
Recently it was stated that big educational improvements in the London area had, in part, been brought about by “pumping money in”. Based on past experience in other fields, is that likely to happen in the distant North?