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    (Original post by d750)
    But it seems wrong to have such a mixture of abilities within the same school. It isn't elitist to say that there should be separate schools for different types / standards of education - it's quite the opposite. You can't administer those three separate streams within introducing some hint of value judgements, and without leading to some resentment / antagonism between the students in them. With separate institutions it's easier to present the streams as equally valid alternatives, and it leads to less antagonism, and doesn't produce low self-esteem among some and overly inflated egos among others.
    I don't understand why you think it is wrong for all children (friends, siblings, neighbours etc.) to go to the same building for their education! It IS elitist to separate pupils into different schools - many parents think that by ensuring their child goes to a school this is marginalised from main stream society it somehow makes their child (and by inference, themselves) better than the 'dross' who go to the local neighbourhood school.

    In a school which houses all abilities, you have different streams for differing abilities. For example, you may have a student that is particularly good at Mathematics/Science but not so good as many others at English. Or someone who has an aptitude for Languages but not for Mathematics/Science. They can be streamed according to their individual abilities and thus display to all the pupils that they have a 'gift or talent' of some sort to nurture. There is more flexibility for movement between the streams as each child reaches their optimum performance - this in itself, is morale boosting and motivating.

    There is streaming amongst pupils in grammars - one of the many complaints voiced to me by friends whose parents made the mistake (imo!) of sending them there is that the 'top' streams are given more attention than those deemed less able!

    I think you may be falling for the rhetoric that comes from the mouths of those who support elitist education for the few. I believe every person is entitled to the 'best' education this country can offer, regardless of background, income and social advantage/disadvantage. It is only by inculcating in school pupils the belief that they are all special that self-esteem, and consequently achievement can be raised and I think the Labour party, with their policies, are the ones to do it.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    I don't understand why you think it is wrong for all children (friends, siblings, neighbours etc.) to go to the same building for their education! It IS elitist to separate pupils into different schools - many parents think that by ensuring their child goes to a school this is marginalised from main stream society it somehow makes their child (and by inference, themselves) better than the 'dross' who go to the local neighbourhood school.

    In a school which houses all abilities, you have different streams for differing abilities. For example, you may have a student that is particularly good at Mathematics/Science but not so good as many others at English. Or someone who has an aptitude for Languages but not for Mathematics/Science. They can be streamed according to their individual abilities and thus display to all the pupils that they have a 'gift or talent' of some sort to nurture. There is more flexibility for movement between the streams as each child reaches their optimum performance - this in itself, is morale boosting and motivating.

    There is streaming amongst pupils in grammars - one of the many complaints voiced to me by friends whose parents made the mistake (imo!) of sending them there is that the 'top' streams are given more attention than those deemed less able!

    I think you may be falling for the rhetoric that comes from the mouths of those who support elitist education for the few. I believe every person is entitled to the 'best' education this country can offer, regardless of background, income and social advantage/disadvantage. It is only by inculcating in school pupils the belief that they are all special that self-esteem, and consequently achievement can be raised and I think the Labour party, with their policies, are the ones to do it.

    The "best" education the state can offer is one where differentiation between those who are academic, and those who are not allows those respective categories to achieve the most they can. This means seperate schools, and entry to those schools controlled by selection on the basis of academic merit.

    I have already outlined why this is so, but you have chosen to return to an earlier stage in the discussion, rather counter my proposals head on. I assume you must oppose my proposals, by your response to the reply you quote.

    Really, you must realise that draging down the best for the sake of the worst is wrong and unfair on the most able. You must equally acknowledge that it is worthless to teach academic subjects to those who are not suited to them, as these people usually simply lack the upbringing to persevere with something which they do not have an aptitude for, and so get nothing from their time at school, and often do not attend at all. When they do, they are disruptive, and do not do work set.
    Putting academically able through the misery of being with people with this attitude (yes, just in the same school as them) doesn't alter the behaviour of these non-academics. Common-sense and your own experience should tell you that.

    You are endorsing a ideal which is simply equality for the sake of equality.
    It smacks of poliical correctness gone mad.

    The real way to tackle the mentality of being better than the "dross" - is to make the comps respectable institutions teaching top-quality vocational qualifications, rather than to just lump everyone in together, which satisfies no-one.
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    (Original post by -mb-)
    The "best" education the state can offer is one where differentiation between those who are academic, and those who are not allows those respective categories to achieve the most they can. This means seperate schools, and entry to those schools controlled by selection on the basis of academic merit.

    I have already outlined why this is so, but you have chosen to return to an earlier stage in the discussion, rather counter my proposals head on. I assume you must oppose my proposals, by your response to the reply you quote.

    Really, you must realise that draging down the best for the sake of the worst is wrong and unfair on the most able. You must equally acknowledge that it is worthless to teach academic subjects to those who are not suited to them, as these people usually simply lack the upbringing to persevere with something which they do not have an aptitude for, and so get nothing from their time at school, and often do not attend at all. When they do, they are disruptive, and do not do work set.
    Putting academically able through the misery of being with people with this attitude (yes, just in the same school as them) doesn't alter the behaviour of these non-academics. Common-sense and your own experience should tell you that.

    You are endorsing a ideal which is simply equality for the sake of equality.
    It smacks of poliical correctness gone mad.

    The real way to tackle the mentality of being better than the "dross" - is to make the comps respectable institutions teaching top-quality vocational qualifications, rather than to just lump everyone in together, which satisfies no-one.
    It was not a case a choosing not to counter anything you posted but rather overlooking your contribution! You should not be so self-absorbed

    I don't agree with your opinion that different needs cannot be met in the same building - this is like saying that surgical cases should be dealt with in hospitals that only do surgery and no medical treatments.

    I do not see that having all -ability schools results in meeting the needs of the most academic or the more technologically able students. Many parents choose to send their highly able children to comps for the very reason that their children are not separated from their friends and siblings at a difficult time in their lives - plus the fact that those same comps produce the same or better results than the grammars.

    I repeat that all pupils are entitled to the very best that education can offer whatever their personal gifts and talents - not just a very few.

    Let's get away from this outmoded and unsuccessful system that puts children on pathways at a very early age for which they may not be suited.

    Let our schools offer every option to all it's pupils.

    I may be an academic who wishes to pursue academia but I don't want to be in isolation from all my friends who have other things to offer.
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    mb

    If you think that Literacy and Numeracy only belong at primary level you need to talk with your teachers and see what they think of your comment!

    Every secondary school without exception has a Literacy and Numeracy policy - it goes much deeper than sentence construction, spellings and counting!
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    I went to a state school 4 my secondary education and am now at a grammar 6th form.
    The difference is unberlievable.
    The state school with mixed ability is by far the most rewarding. Grammars are simple elitist and there is no intergration, people grow up surrounded by cotton wool and have no concept of the real world
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    (Original post by Blood & Honour)
    I went to a state school 4 my secondary education and am now at a grammar 6th form.
    The difference is unberlievable.
    The state school with mixed ability is by far the most rewarding. Grammars are simple elitist and there is no intergration, people grow up surrounded by cotton wool and have no concept of the real world
    That's total bull, like most things you say. It hasn't been true of either of the two grammars I have attended.
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    How can it be bull if i have expirenced it?!
    have you ever been to a comp? everyone who moved from a state to the grammar said how different it was!
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    mb

    If you think that Literacy and Numeracy only belong at primary level you need to talk with your teachers and see what they think of your comment!

    Every secondary school without exception has a Literacy and Numeracy policy - it goes much deeper than sentence construction, spellings and counting!
    No, I am refering to functional literacy and numeracy.

    A base of "literacy" upon which further vocabulary and grammar should be laid down at a primary level.
    A person is then literate. Of course, there should be further teaching, even for people following a vocational path, but certainly the process of becoming more "articulate" etc. *should* be able to occur naturally from primary level onwards.

    The only maths the majority of people need - functional "numeracy" - adding/subtracting, multiplying/diving percentages etc. should also be covered at a primary level, again to provide an adequate base for people to be able to conduct their lives. I still realise that further teaching is desirable for everyone, partly because of the value of the type of thinking that maths requires.

    We need common sense, and decent standards, not teachers pushing pens around to create meaningless "policies" for basic skills which should fundamentally be dealt with at primary school.
    This is so as to allow secondary schools to assume a certain level, and build on it without worring about the really basic things that primaries currently fail to deal with.
    This is despite one of the few New Labour initiatives that I wholeheartedly support - the "Literacy" and "Numeracy" hours.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    It was not a case a choosing not to counter anything you posted but rather overlooking your contribution! You should not be so self-absorbed
    Hmmm...I don't think anyone will deny that it's pretty pointless to ignore a major contribution that is directly relevant to the discussion, whether you agree with it or not. All that happens is the whole lot is repeated again.

    I don't agree with your opinion that different needs cannot be met in the same building - this is like saying that surgical cases should be dealt with in hospitals that only do surgery and no medical treatments.
    This is an absurd and invalid (pun unintended!) comparisson.

    In fact the health system can be used for an analogy, but like this:

    Hospitals deal with serious treatment (on the whole) and GPs' surgeries and pharmacies deal with minor treatment - they are a lower tier of the health system. It would be inefficient and harmful to those with both minor and major ailments to all be treated at hospitals for example....superbugs, pressures on staff over priorities etc.


    I do not see that having all -ability schools results in meeting the needs of the most academic or the more technologically able students. Many parents choose to send their highly able children to comps for the very reason that their children are not separated from their friends and siblings at a difficult time in their lives - plus the fact that those same comps produce the same or better results than the grammars.
    "All-ability" means comprehensives, not "all able students"!
    I know what you mean though. Actually, I would have expected you to be bothered about political correctness: surely non academic people are "able" - just not academically?

    Good comps produce better results - well, good for them, but what about all the crap comps?
    How many grammars fail their students (including the able ones) as these comps do?

    Grammars would prevent academically able students being failed if they were reintroduced country-wide. Then the only issue would be providing the non-academics with what they need, i.e. decent voational qualifications that are worth having, and the kids are prepared to study for.

    I repeat that all pupils are entitled to the very best that education can offer whatever their personal gifts and talents - not just a very few.
    I've already said why I believe selection does this best.

    Let's get away from this outmoded and unsuccessful system that puts children on pathways at a very early age for which they may not be suited.
    I've said it should still be possible to change pathways. However, many people currently waste their time on new "quasi-academic" disciplines, when they would be better off studying proper vocational subjects.

    I may be an academic who wishes to pursue academia but I don't want to be in isolation from all my friends who have other things to offer.
    How sad that you are unable to form friendships outside school...
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    (Original post by -mb-)
    b) Of the 30 or so people at my grammar who went to the local comp beforehand (grammar starts at 13), I know that they also say it is just as balanced, and people have an equally good "concept of the real world".
    I'm talking about expirencing the fully state school education of 5 years, the i moved 4 6th form 2 the grammar, believe me the actual pupils admit how posh it is in comparsion to other schools.
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    What we need to remember is that comparison of results between selective and non-selective schools is not possible.

    Instead we have to look at the correlation between comparable ability groupings.

    Research has shown that the most able of any cohort achieves better results at a comprehensive school than at a grammar school.

    If widespread selection was ever re-introduced (God forbid!) we would see how grammars continually fail their students in comparison to the top quartile in comps. This is evidenced by Kent LEA which is wholly selective. There are very few of the grammars that manage to achieve the benchmark of 100% 5 A* - C grades for their students, 5 out of 33 last year and 3/33 the year before.

    Yet comps in Kent (they can't really be called comps as they do not have enough of top quartile students because of the existence of grammars) regularly get over 50% of ALL their students achieveing the benchmark.


    Highly able. very able and profoundly able are all measures of discriminating between the lower of the top quartile and the top 1%! The terms do not refer to whether a person is able or not in any other consideration.
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    I always find it amazing to see how many middle class parents are convinced their children are "particularly gifted" and cannot find the "academic challenge" they require at their local comprehensive. So not only are gifted children isolated to the middle classes, almost all upper middle class children are amazingly gifted. Hmm perhaps not.
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    (Original post by Blood & Honour)
    Grammars are simple elitist and there is no intergration, people grow up surrounded by cotton wool and have no concept of the real world
    What's so wrong about being separated from some of the coarser aspects of life? 'Surrounded by cotton wool' seems always to be used as a kind of insult, but I can't honestly see the problem with inexperience of things few people would ever want to experience. And you can't claim that you live in the 'real world' and others don't - no one can ever claim to have a universal experience of all aspects of life. Personally, I'd like to ensure that the children I one day hope to have can enjoy more choice about what experience of life they have. I wouldn't want to send them to a comprehensive school, because that robs them of that choice - they'd be confronted with things they may not want to be confronted with. At least in the independent sector they can get those sort of experiences at their own initiation and on their own terms if they want to.
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    (Original post by d750)
    What's so wrong about being separated from some of the coarser aspects of life? 'Surrounded by cotton wool' seems always to be used as a kind of insult, but I can't honestly see the problem with inexperience of things few people would ever want to experience. And you can't claim that you live in the 'real world' and others don't - no one can ever claim to have a universal experience of all aspects of life. Personally, I'd like to ensure that the children I one day hope to have can enjoy more choice about what experience of life they have. I wouldn't want to send them to a comprehensive school, because that robs them of that choice - they'd be confronted with things they may not want to be confronted with. At least in the independent sector they can get those sort of experiences at their own initiation and on their own terms if they want to.
    Why are you making sweeping generalisations about comprehensive schools?

    I have no problem with independent schools and whether they wish to be selective or non-selective - you pays your money you make your choice.

    I believe that if STATE grammars wish to remain selective they should become fee-paying because the bulk of the parents who send their kids there are wealthy enough to pay for the privilege. The money that is saved can be put to very good use in the remaining state schools.
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    (Original post by d750)
    What's so wrong about being separated from some of the coarser aspects of life? 'Surrounded by cotton wool' seems always to be used as a kind of insult, but I can't honestly see the problem with inexperience of things few people would ever want to experience. And you can't claim that you live in the 'real world' and others don't - no one can ever claim to have a universal experience of all aspects of life. Personally, I'd like to ensure that the children I one day hope to have can enjoy more choice about what experience of life they have. I wouldn't want to send them to a comprehensive school, because that robs them of that choice - they'd be confronted with things they may not want to be confronted with. At least in the independent sector they can get those sort of experiences at their own initiation and on their own terms if they want to.
    Jesus the fecking tories - choice in education?! All schools should be the same!
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    (Original post by Blood & Honour)
    Jesus the fecking tories - choice in education?! All schools should be the same!
    Perhaps when all people are the same.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    I believe that if STATE grammars wish to remain selective they should become fee-paying because the bulk of the parents who send their kids there are wealthy enough to pay for the privilege. The money that is saved can be put to very good use in the remaining state schools.
    That's bullsh*t, and highly insulting to the many poor people who children are academic and ambitious and are able to get the education that suits them, and that they deserve, thanks only to grammar schools.

    As it happens, I would be someone who would have to suffer as a result of your proposed change, and I can think of many others at my school for whom this would be the case.
    This, despite the fact that I happily acknowledge that my grammar has a disproportionately high number of people who are very well off.

    The exclusion of the poor but deserving would be even more pronounced at my previous grammar, which I suspect would cease to exist overnight if fees were introduced!

    btw. I am not, by any standards poor, but I know that parents couldn't pay the fees for private school, or risk trying to do so.

    I can assure you, that you are highly naive/ill-informed if you genuinely believe that the money funding my exemplary school, which I am privileged to attend, could be put to better use than it is now.
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    (Original post by -mb-)
    That's bullsh*t, and highly insulting to the many poor people who children are academic and ambitious and are able to get the education that suits them, and that they deserve, thanks only to grammar schools.

    As it happens, I would be someone who would have to suffer as a result of your proposed change, and I can think of many others at my school for whom this would be the case.
    This, despite the fact that I happily acknowledge that my grammar has a disproportionately high number of people who are very well off.

    The exclusion of the poor but deserving would be even more pronounced at my previous grammar, which I suspect would cease to exist overnight if fees were introduced!

    btw. I am not, by any standards poor, but I know that parents couldn't pay the fees for private school, or risk trying to do so.

    I can assure you, that you are highly naive/ill-informed if you genuinely believe that the money funding my exemplary school, which I am privileged to attend, could be put to better use than it is now.
    The fact you seem to misunderstand is that those poor, academic and ambitious children you cite CAN get an education that suits them in non-selective schools that stream according to ability. I have told you previously that research has borne out the fact that the most academically able get better results in comps! Don't believe all you hear about comps - most of them are excellent establishments of education and frequently figure at the top of the league tables on a like-for-like basis.

    It is also erroneous to think that the 'poor but bright' child get the places in grammars - they don't. That was the philosophy that was sold by the tories, but in practice the ones with bums on seats in grammars are invariably those from homes where the parents can afford paying for 'prep' schools or intensive private coaching to get their children through the 11+.

    If your main argument for maintaining the status quo is to protect the interests of the poor (and we both know it's not - rather it's to protect you own interests) then I have already provided the solution for those who are idealistically opposed to comps. All selective schools to become fee-paying -with the exception of parents who are genuinely unable to afford the fees. These children could be offered places based on means testing. At the moment, scholarship places are awarded on academic merit (mainly to those who went to fee-paying prep schools). They should be solely for the poor.

    You may be one of those who would suffer from the changes, but it is a small price to pay to ensure that a greater number of childrens' needs are met.

    I can assure you that it is not me who is 'highly naive/ill informed' - I would not insult you but would say that I am very well placed to make these suggestions - and have an altruistic, rather than self-centered interest.
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    (Original post by yawn1)
    The fact you seem to misunderstand is that those poor, academic and ambitious children you cite CAN get an education that suits them in non-selective schools that stream according to ability. I have told you previously that research has borne out the fact that the most academically able get better results in comps! Don't believe all you hear about comps - most of them are excellent establishments of education and frequently figure at the top of the league tables on a like-for-like basis.

    It is also erroneous to think that the 'poor but bright' child get the places in grammars - they don't. That was the philosophy that was sold by the tories, but in practice the ones with bums on seats in grammars are invariably those from homes where the parents can afford paying for 'prep' schools or intensive private coaching to get their children through the 11+.

    If your main argument for maintaining the status quo is to protect the interests of the poor (and we both know it's not - rather it's to protect you own interests) then I have already provided the solution for those who are idealistically opposed to comps. All selective schools to become fee-paying -with the exception of parents who are genuinely unable to afford the fees. These children could be offered places based on means testing. At the moment, scholarship places are awarded on academic merit (mainly to those who went to fee-paying prep schools). They should be solely for the poor.

    You may be one of those who would suffer from the changes, but it is a small price to pay to ensure that a greater number of childrens' needs are met.

    I can assure you that it is not me who is 'highly naive/ill informed' - I would not insult you but would say that I am very well placed to make these suggestions - and have an altruistic, rather than self-centered interest.
    Hmm. You seem to be trying to argue this three ways...

    Firstly, about the merits of comps over grammars:
    I beginning to think I am wasting my time in this debate, as you clearly can't be arsed to read my detailed explanation of how a selective system is more suitable than a comprehensive one to give the best education to all; I have repeated parts of it several times. You could at least have the grace to tell me why you disagree with my reasoning, as you clearly do.

    Furthemore, if you would rather not post a detailed explanation showing how you conclude that I could get an education under a comprehensive system equivalent to the one I receive now, then simply quote the research that you claim shows this to be possible.
    A source and date are fine, or a hyperlink is good too.

    Secondly, that many who attend grammars can afford private education:
    However, having claimed that it shouldn't matter to me if I go to a comprehensive, you then claim the 'category' of person I cite doesn't exist at grammars anyway! From my experience (2 grammars) I know this not to be true!

    I think you are in need of a bit of education in the regard of personal finance. There are many highly intelligent (probably middle-class) people at my school, inclduing some of my friends, who live in the sort of familly that has regular holidays, 2 cars a reasonable house etc. but could never afford to go to private school
    There is a sizeable "inbetween" group who are not "poor" would not qualify for means tested benefits, but cannot afford private school fees. (In my case, my parents are self-employed, so their income fluctuates.)
    To honest you have your head in the clouds; you need to think through the "real-life" practicalities of what you propose.

    The beauty of grammars, is the way that they do not create social divides, along lines that are irrelevant to education but merely divide the academics from the non-academics, to the benefit of both.

    Thirdly, that I or a "few" should suffer for the good of the many:
    Well, now you're saying I suffer - I though you said I would receive an education of equal merit at a comp... :confused: :rolleyes:



    I am interested in the "greater good" also...I want a pleasant society to live in, and I genuinely believe this can be best achieved with a system that distinguishes between academic, and non-adademic students, nothing else.

    My personal position is just one part of my counter to your argument...I'm not that self-centred!
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    (Original post by -mb-)
    Hmm. You seem to be trying to argue this three ways...

    Firstly, about the merits of comps over grammars:
    I beginning to think I am wasting my time in this debate, as you clearly can't be arsed to read my detailed explanation of how a selective system is more suitable than a comprehensive one to give the best education to all; I have repeated parts of it several times. You could at least have the grace to tell me why you disagree with my reasoning, as you clearly do.

    Furthemore, if you would rather not post a detailed explanation showing how you conclude that I could get an education under a comprehensive system equivalent to the one I receive now, then simply quote the research that you claim shows this to be possible.
    A source and date are fine, or a hyperlink is good too.

    Secondly, that many who attend grammars can afford private education:
    However, having claimed that it shouldn't matter to me if I go to a comprehensive, you then claim the 'category' of person I cite doesn't exist at grammars anyway! From my experience (2 grammars) I know this not to be true!

    I think you are in need of a bit of education in the regard of personal finance. There are many highly intelligent (probably middle-class) people at my school, inclduing some of my friends, who live in the sort of familly that has regular holidays, 2 cars a reasonable house etc. but could never afford to go to private school
    There is a sizeable "inbetween" group who are not "poor" would not qualify for means tested benefits, but cannot afford private school fees. (In my case, my parents are self-employed, so their income fluctuates.)
    To honest you have your head in the clouds; you need to think through the "real-life" practicalities of what you propose.

    The beauty of grammars, is the way that they do not create social divides, along lines that are irrelevant to education but merely divide the academics from the non-academics, to the benefit of both.

    Thirdly, that I or a "few" should suffer for the good of the many:
    Well, now you're saying I suffer - I though you said I would receive an education of equal merit at a comp... :confused: :rolleyes:



    I am interested in the "greater good" also...I want a pleasant society to live in, and I genuinely believe this can be best achieved with a system that distinguishes between academic, and non-adademic students, nothing else.

    My personal position is just one part of my counter to your argument...I'm not that self-centred!
    Your observations on my contributions are necessarily skewed because of your own circumstances.

    I can refer you to all the claims I have made and would likewise appreciate back-up from you rather than rhetoric.

    'Grammar schools fail children from poor families' by Judith Judd on http://www.independent,co,uk/advance...or081100.shtml

    omprehensive Secondary Education: Building on Success (a briefing papers contributed to by many eminent professors of Education see link http://www.casenet.or.uk/success.html

    The Impact of Selection on Pupil Performance - Ian Schagen and Sandie Schagen (research was commissioned by a pro-selection body to validate their claims that grammars provided the best education for the more academically able, but unfortunately their assumption was not entirely supported by the research!) I don't have a link to post but you can find it by typing in the title and authors on google I guess.

    Finally 'A review of structure and performance of secondary education in Kent and Medway' by Professor David Jesson. This report was commissioned by Dr. Stephen Ladyman (MP for Thanet South) because of his concerns on the negative effects of a wholly selective system on all the schools in Kent and Medway.

    I know far more than you think I do about selection and certainly more than you! You come across as very pompous and it does nothing for your credibility.
 
 
 
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