Azara Blog: Teaching union grammar school vote

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Date published: 2005/07/27

The BBC says:

A teaching union is voting on whether to call for grammar schools to be reintroduced across England.

Comprehensive schools and a "one-size-fits-all" policy do not deliver high-quality education, the Professional Association of Teachers will hear.

Teacher Peter Morris says standards have fallen and discipline has worsened since the end of selective secondary education in most areas of England.

The PAT's annual conference in Buxton, Derbyshire, will vote on the issue.

Mr Morris said: "We all have different strengths and weaknesses."

"Not everyone on this planet was born to be a brilliant academic. But there are some people in this country who are born to be brilliant academics."

"We must face up to the reality that children who are academically gifted should be given the same level of encouragement as those children who are slow learners."

Most 16-year-olds today would not gain good grades in the old O-levels, which were replaced in the 1980s by GCSEs, he said.

Mr Morris, from Bishop Gore Comprehensive School, Swansea, said: "Perhaps even more importantly standards of discipline have dropped with the introduction of comprehensive education."

"If a teacher spends too much time with low achievers then the high achievers become disruptive. The converse too is true."

To blame the alleged drop in discipline on comprehensive education is a bit silly. But the general message is fairly obvious and will not please the anti-intellectuals who run the Labour Party (all themselves members of the elite, of course, in particular usually products of Oxbridge or the equivalent, but mostly of mediocre intelligence). What you need most for a decent education are committed teachers and committed parents. (Well, a bit of money does not hurt either.) Unfortunately the Labour Party loves social engineering so has to believe that instead tinkering from above is what you need. (The other political parties are not much better.)

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