Monday, October 8

Grammar schools and clever skinheads

John Redwood is exploring the role of grammars in our state education system. If there’s one thing that gets parents dander up, it is the subject of grammar schools. I should say ‘some’ parents, because – as in the recent comments about private school bursaries that go begging – little skinheads with St George’s Cross tattoos will almost certainly be excluded. They will be excluded from grammars not least because of their parents. What the TES article may or may not confirm is that behind every aspirational Asian or Afro-Caribbean child that competes for bursaries there is a committed, ambitious parent. If grammar schools were solely to help poor kids get a step on the ladder I might be less opposed to them, though I still think the State favouring one kid over another because he/she dropped lucky in the genetic stakes remains wrong. Unfortunately, I suspect that grammars are less about helping poor kids and more about assisting middle-class kids with pushy parents who don’t want to put their hands in their pockets. I note that Redwood talks about parents who are ‘not rich’ rather that poor. Hey, if a comprehensive is good enough for Millipede…

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