Letter: A lesson for schools

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Sir: As a teacher I never fail to take delight in the challenge of the infinite variety and extent of children's abilities and talents. The political parties can not take this diversity on board. They inflict their simple, single answers on us all, as it is in their interests to perpetuate the battle for education as one of their key issues.

Generations of children have suffered because the 11-plus selection system was inflexible and the technical component under-funded. Yet more children have suffered because of the initial, and in some areas the continuing, practice of making children of too wide a range of ability study together in the comprehensive system.

Give parents as much choice as possible. Let us have a wide range of schools, from tiny to enormous, arts and or science based, selective and non-selective, single sex and co-educational, religion based, wholly public funded, completely independent and a mixture of part and publicly funded.

The narrow, ideologically based systems of selective and comprehensive education are dangerous because if they fail the whole country will fail. Sensible investors never put all their eggs in one basket!

The only answer is a broad approach giving a wide variety of choice because that reflects the diversity of the children to be educated.


Hook, Hampshire