Letter: Helping the able

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The Independent Culture
Sir: What a relief to read such a well-researched and well-argued article as Deborah Orr's piece on Labour education policy (Comment, 23 March). It is refreshing to have journalists like Ms Orr base their arguments on such large samples (herself and her brother).

It is a pleasure to see her avoid ad hominem arguments (of course Tony Blair should be disqualified from having anything to say about education policy, since he went to a public school).

I admire her solid logical argument (setting should be made compulsory, therefore we should avoid treating children from the same school differently by inviting some to attend master classes).

I gasp at her ability to equate like with like (sending children to separate schools at 11 is obviously the same as inviting some children to attend extra classes).

She is right. In my experience as a teacher in a comprehensive school, today's youth are feckless and uninterested in academic work.

They are more interested in being cool than attending master classes.

Any policy which suggests otherwise is clearly misguided.

Let us for goodness sake discard the idea that any youngster today might be interested in attending school on a Saturday. That is for "boffs".

S P GOSLING

Wantage, Oxfordshire

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