Bring back grammar schools to improve social mobility

Grammar schools are not about elitism but about excellence – regardless of income. Their abolition was a disaster since they offered a highly academic education to pupils of any class , enabling pupils from the working and lower middle class to benefit from what was effectively a private school standard of education.

Since their abolition, social mobilty has ground to a halt and the 7 per cent of pupils educated at private schools have reasserted their dominance, taking half of top jobs and 40 per cent of seats in the House of Commons. The upwardly mobile grammar school kid from the council estate has gone – replaced by the public school toff who walks into top jobs because there is no competition from the state sector anymore.

Selection by ability – the grammar school – has been replaced by selection by income – either  a private school or the good comprehensive school, where middle class parents move in to the more expensive catchment areas of the leafy suburban comprehensive. The poor but bright child in the inner city gets sent to a sink comprehensive with low achieving kids and gets a bog standard education.   

The well-meaning liberals who decry the grammar schools have scored a spectacular own goal, kicking the ladder away from poor kids who may otherwise get a chance.

Look at the evidence – in Northern Ireland, which retained grammar schools until recently, the proportion of poor kids going on to university was higher than in England and the overall exam results better.   There is also research showing that clever children perform better in a class of around 20 of their peers instead of being among two or three in the top set of a comp (if they are in a set at all). It's like being in a rowing team – you're going to pull harder if your fellow rowers are at least as good as you or better, but if they're all slower than you, you can relax and not try too hard.   

 

 

     

Why is this idea important?

Grammar schools are not about elitism but about excellence – regardless of income. Their abolition was a disaster since they offered a highly academic education to pupils of any class , enabling pupils from the working and lower middle class to benefit from what was effectively a private school standard of education.

Since their abolition, social mobilty has ground to a halt and the 7 per cent of pupils educated at private schools have reasserted their dominance, taking half of top jobs and 40 per cent of seats in the House of Commons. The upwardly mobile grammar school kid from the council estate has gone – replaced by the public school toff who walks into top jobs because there is no competition from the state sector anymore.

Selection by ability – the grammar school – has been replaced by selection by income – either  a private school or the good comprehensive school, where middle class parents move in to the more expensive catchment areas of the leafy suburban comprehensive. The poor but bright child in the inner city gets sent to a sink comprehensive with low achieving kids and gets a bog standard education.   

The well-meaning liberals who decry the grammar schools have scored a spectacular own goal, kicking the ladder away from poor kids who may otherwise get a chance.

Look at the evidence – in Northern Ireland, which retained grammar schools until recently, the proportion of poor kids going on to university was higher than in England and the overall exam results better.   There is also research showing that clever children perform better in a class of around 20 of their peers instead of being among two or three in the top set of a comp (if they are in a set at all). It's like being in a rowing team – you're going to pull harder if your fellow rowers are at least as good as you or better, but if they're all slower than you, you can relax and not try too hard.   

 

 

     

Repeal the Human Rights Act

Repeal the act because the UK can't extradite terrorists because this breaches their human rights ie they could get tortured back home. This puts the human rights of terrorists ahead of the human rights of the population who have the human right not to be blown up getting the tube or bus.

A lifer in prison also has the human right to get married in prison and have IVF treatment (right to a family under the act) – despite the fact  he's a murderer (hardly the best father) and in prison (can't be there for the child). This puts the human rights of a murderer ahead of his victim and society (forced to pay for IVF and benefits for the child who he clearly can't support). 

Their human rights are at the expense of ours. This is political correctness gone mad.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal the act because the UK can't extradite terrorists because this breaches their human rights ie they could get tortured back home. This puts the human rights of terrorists ahead of the human rights of the population who have the human right not to be blown up getting the tube or bus.

A lifer in prison also has the human right to get married in prison and have IVF treatment (right to a family under the act) – despite the fact  he's a murderer (hardly the best father) and in prison (can't be there for the child). This puts the human rights of a murderer ahead of his victim and society (forced to pay for IVF and benefits for the child who he clearly can't support). 

Their human rights are at the expense of ours. This is political correctness gone mad.