@CamillaTominey It is wrong to say that Grammar schools were unfair. You confuse life and opportunity

Grammar schools were fair, in that they opened up an academic education to all those, who were capable benefitting from one.
Labour’s introduction of Comprehensives was intended to give the same education to those who were incapable of benefiting from it as those fitted for it.

It also missed the point that what such people needed was an opportunity for their talents, abilities and inclinations to be recognised and developed.

Obviously there are sports-minded people who could benefit from attending sport’s academies, learning to visualise trajectories instead of calculating them.
There are naturally gifted singers, who could have gained from having access to music school instead of waiting for BGT as Susan Boyle had to, or being abused by the music industry as Ruby Murray was (50’s singer, ended up croaking her songs).
There are some, whose only demand on an education is the equipment to cope with daily life.
I know Id  be bored witless brushing the streets (unlike the Dad in “Bread”), or working on an assembly line but there are people who enjoy such jobs and their freedom from thought.
There are also the unrealistic aspirants, who can’t acknowledge that they’ll never be eligible to play James Bond, or Lara Croft.

They do not need, or want a Grammar school education and it is actually a disservice trying to force them to suffer one.

The Comprehensive system failed, because it still didn’t cater for those, who weren’t intellectually gifted and insisted on trying to teach trigonometry to those who couldn’t and wouldn’t.
It was worsened, when New Labour introduced “Education,education, education”.
They reduced predicted unemployment figures by extending the period in “education”, which meant lowering the standards to an extent, whereby education became unfair again, because those, who would previously been extended at a Grammar School, now had to mark time, whilst the less able struggled to cope with basic concepts (sod off, Piaget).
The added wizard wheeze of clamping down on truanting (it reduced the need for coppers in town centres), ensured that there were plenty of disaffected pupils ready and willing to disrupt lessons.
What chance the threat of lines, or detention, or contracts of behaviour for a lad, who’d spent the previous eveninng in police custody and had been cautioned for GBH, or TWOC-ing?
Only those who could afford public school could now be educated upto the best standard of which they were capable.

The key to education is motivation. This doesn’t mean entertaining pupils, or getting down with them, although it is helpful to a degree.
We are motivated by success, praise (when deserved) and hope of reward.
A girl become’s an engineer, not because her Mum takes away her dolls and gives her Meccano for Xmas, but because she has a gift for Math and a curiosity on how things work.
Motivation can be the look of pride on a parent’s face or the pleasure on the teacher’s but when time to think about the job market comes along, then money takes precedence.
Money isn’t a great motivation but it can be a disincentive, when an engineer knows that no matter how good he/she is, they’ll never earn as much as the numpty, who is put in place to “manage” him/her.
That the numpty will have a bigger house, better holidays and a less fraught retirement, having done nothing more than scrape a PPE degree and gone to school with the right people.
Grammar school’s weren’t unfair. scrapping them and giving public schools a tax break was unfair.

A last thought, who’d cope best in a job swap?

Ed Miliband (£130k + expenses and amenities), or a Senior Staff Nurse (£40k + unsocial hours)


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