LETTER:Labour politicians' comprehensive history of selection

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From Mr John Charman

Sir: Perhaps Labour MPs and other activists could take time off from criticising Harriet Harman and explain to me why, if selection is wrong for schools, is it all right for universities?

I suspect the answer is that the Labour party accepts that a selection policy for universities is a sensible one, both for the people that are selected and for the country, because to do otherwise would result in a dilution of academic quality and a general lowering of standards. In not applying the same criteria to schools, could it be that the Labour Party policy for schools is driven by "Old Labour" dogma rather than what is best for the country?

Like it or not, selection and choice are involved all through life and, in trying to pretend otherwise by abolishing selection for secondary education, the Labour Party does the brightest 5 per cent of our children, and the country as a whole, a grave dis-service.

Yours sincerely,

John Charman

London, SW1

23 January