Letters: Selective amnesia

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The Independent Online
Sir: What those of us who oppose reintroduction of selection must continue to say to John Major, however futile we may feel it to be, is that it won't solve the very real problems which the nation faces.

When we had grammar schools, not only did most children not go to them, but many others left them with very little to show for their supposed advantages. No one ever bothered to ask how many students left grammar school at 15, or left at 16 with very poor O-level results. Comprehensive schools have at the very least presided over an increased staying-on rate, and year-on-year improvements at GCSE, Advanced and degree level.

Britain is not as successful as many of its competitors in educating its citizens; Japanese children, for instance, are reckoned to be up to two years ahead of our own. What the Prime Minister doesn't say, or perhaps doesn't know, is that Japanese schools are comprehensives, and the children are taught largely in classes for mixed-ability groups.



Langdon Park School

London E14