However, Neil then goes on to talk about selection in schools.
I went to a comprehensive in the West Midlands, but I failed my 11 plus.
Which is very sporting of him to admit: I, on the other hand, scored well over 90%. I guess the 11+ really was a flawed exam then...
I have to say that I really don't get the problem with grammar schools. Honestly.
A lot of the most able pupils who would have gone to my comprehensive were creamed off to a grammar school 3 miles away.
See, "creamed off" makes the whole thing sound so elitist and derogatory.
Here's what actually happens. Children take a test; if they have sufficient intelligence to pass the test, then they go to a grammar school. Lefties don't like grammar schools because it smacks of elitism, because grammars usually get better exam results. They get better exam results because they have brighter children.
The rest of the children go to comprehensives. Comprehensives don't get such good results because they don't have such bright children. If one were to mix bright children into comprehensives, then their average grades would go up. If one were to mix less bright children into grammar schools, the grades would go down.
In other words, were grammar schools not selective, then they would not be so desirable. In fact, they would be pointless because they would just be comprehensives. Am I missing something here?
Surely what is important is the individual student's achievements? Isn't that what we really care about? And the thing about comprehensives is that they are comprehensively shit: I would lay a wager (alas, it would be impossible to prove, due to the vagaries of the human condition) that a child going to a comprehensive would get worse exam marks than that same student going to a grammar school.