LETTER:Labour politicians' comprehensive history of selection

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From Mr Peter Bradbury

Sir: I do wish Labour MPs, indeed all MPs, could come to accept that education is more than O and A levels and the complex of academic excellence that underpins them, vital as that is for the life of any school.

Perhaps of equal importance in our socially divided society is the effect that a comprehensive education can have on children from the professional and middle classes, the acquired ability to mix easily with children from all classes and, incidentally, of both sexes, to understand different values and motivations.

A third aspect is the contribution which such parents can make to the life of the comprehensive school by taking part in the official and unofficial channels which exist to improve standards and maintain the morale of hard- pressed teachers and governors.

Perhaps it is too early to speak of a trahison des clercs, but my mind is certainly running in that direction.


Peter Bradbury

East Bergholt, Essex

22 January

The writer was a divisional education officer in the Inner London Education Authority, 1970-81