Lola Okolosie makes a powerful argument for abolishing grammar schools (The Tories keep bottling their push for more grammar schools. Is it because they know they don’t work?, 16 March). But one problem with focusing on the abolition of such schools is that it requires people to subscribe to the view that everything about them is immeasurably superior; that those failing the 11-plus missed out on the greatest opportunity of their lives. Other provision is inevitably seen as second class. And if you were unsuccessful, you’re second class – which is the psychological fallout that you never quite overcome, whatever your later achievements.
My experience of my secondary bilateral school was outstanding. The teaching was dynamic and the ethos was supportive and strict. It ensured that when I entered the grammar school sixth form, the transition was seamless.
What needs to change is the elitist view. Yes, having more comprehensive schooling is part of the solution. But we should value equally the whole range of education – both vocational and academic.
Ryde, Isle of Wight
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