YP Letters: Why not admit grammars mean poorer schools for most?

From: Geoffrey F. Bryant, Queen Street, Barton-on-Humber.

Should new grammar schools be opened?

AND here we go again – grammar schools good, other schools hardly worth a mention.

But surely people like Dylan Jardine (The Yorkshire Post, August 15) have got to realise that the creation of a nationwide grammar school system means the creation of a nationwide secondary modern system.

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There is no alternative. It is by definition impossible to have comprehensive schools alongside grammar schools, and in any case Mr Jardine says comprehensives are ‘bog-standard’.

So why Mr Jardine aren’t you as enthusiastic about the creation of secondary modern schools as you are about the creation of grammars?

But then I read your piece again and see that ‘It is 
clearly unfortunate for those who do not make the cut for the grammar school’ and wonder what would happen if any of your children failed the 11 plus.

Would he simply say ‘unfortunate’ but my child must not ‘hold back those who would (pass the 11 plus)’ and so off to the secondary modern he or she must go and be able to say for a lifetime ‘I failed my 11 plus’?

I very much doubt that he would find any part of such a situation comfortable or acceptable.

What I do see as likely is the creation of a three, if not four tiered education system:

1. Two varieties of fee-paying schools, one charging very high fees to accommodate the seriously well-off and another charging somewhat lower fees to educate the less well-off but still well-heeled families whose children either failed the 11 plus or were never entered for the exam;

2. The grammar schools largely inhabited by the children of parents who gave their children every advantage in life often including paid for private tuition to hot-house them through the 11-plus plus a few naturally bright children from more deprived backgrounds;

3. Secondary modern for the rest – often poorly accommodated and financed but good enough for Mr Jardine’s ‘unfortunates’ of this world.

How could this possible promote any sort of social justice in our country?