YP Letters: Do grammar schools hold the key to opportunity for all?

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

A-Level results from across the region

HOW I agree with Dylan Jardine (The Yorkshire Post, August 16) that the re-introduction of grammar schools is the best way to increase social mobility.

The comprehensive system is all very well but the very brightest lose out by the very nature of trying to make all pupils equal. The brightest children come from all backgrounds and should be able to access the best education their ability is worthy of.

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We should also consider more practical training for the less bright and encourage them to do apprenticehips rather than aiming for university to gain a degree that fits them for nothing but the welfare cheque.

If we made universities more elite, perhaps we, as a state, could afford to pay for those bright pupils from less well-off backgrounds to go there, 
rather than limiting places 
to those who have wealthy parents or those confident enough to take out huge student loans.

From: ME Wright, Harrogate.

DYLAN Jardine chants the old refrain about how grammar schools gave great opportunities to the less well-off. They did, including me.

However, because many regarded education as a parental route to prestige and social status, they were never considered good enough for most of the upper echelons.

They continued to ensure that a wave of the wallet would buy domination of the corridors of politics and commerce.

Even as my state grammar school generation started to gain entry, the Eton/Oxbridge mafia remained omnipresent in Parliament and the Civil Service; do they still?

That’s a question which no-one seems able or willing to answer.

Dylan claims “surely selection by ability is always preferable...to doing so by money”. Every government within memory has tried and failed to find a solution. Would he accept that the answer might lie in nationalising the lot, from Eton to Bash Street – a truly meritocratic education system?

From: David Doyle, Malton.

RATHER than a divisive return of grammar schools, how does Theresa May intend to raise standards in primary schools?

The sooner children learn the basics, the greater the likelihood that they will prosper at secondary level.

This is far more urgent 
than the return of grammar schools in some parts of the country or the tinkering 
with the GCSE syllabus in order to justify the existence of Ministers.