Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mistakes in grammar

David Davis is calling for the return of the grammar school as the "greatest instrument for social mobility ever invented" in a direct challenge - again - to David Cameron's leadership.

The former shadow home secretary, who went to grammar school, insisted only a return to selective education could 'rescue the next generation of the underprivileged'.

'The charge against the grammar school is that they helped the brightest at the expense of the weaker child. The truth about the comprehensive system is that it failed the best without helping the weak.'

The reality is that when they vandalised - sorry, reformed the education system into comprehensive they took the bit that worked well - grammar schools - and threw it away and used the bit that was failing - secondary moderns - as the model for their reform. The result is that we have a system which fails everyone.

I know - some people will say "there are some very good comprehensives". Yes there are - but there were also some very good secondary moderns as well. One good apple doesn't rescue the whole rotten barrel.

The most important point, though, is the one that Davis makes regarding social mobility. Grammar schools were the key instrument during the forties, fifties and sixties for motivating social mobility - nothing else has ever come close. The removal of that instrument has failed two generations of school children and will go on failing them until we retrieve it.

Davis is right to call for their return, but his call will fall on deaf ears. The progressives - and that includes his party and their leader - do not want to listen to anything that challenges their perception of the world.

1 comment:

JPT said...

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