Letter: Grammar schools

Sir: Your excellent leading article "Forget selection: diversity is the key to good education" (2 September) made the point that today the 163 grammar schools are only one of a wide range of types of secondary school that provide alternatives for parents of 11-year-olds.

The National Grammar Schools Association shares your view of the unsatisfactory nature of the legislation that disenfranchises large numbers of stakeholder parents in "non-qualifying" junior schools in many areas.

It is important for parents to be given hard information about the consequences of arbitrary decisions relating to only one type of secondary school in integrated local systems.

This information should be made available by the Education Department or local education authorities and indicate the consequences for all schools, secondary or primary, of providing a properly funded and reorganised comprehensive system that would fully meet the needs of all our children, and guarantee a provision at least as good as the current local system.

Only this would justify disruption of high achieving schools, the years of upheaval and enormous cost of reorganisation, further diverting funding from all our schools.

JOHN HARRIS

Vice-President, NGSA

Oldbury, West Midlands

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