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Tories to 'sever links' with academic selection

Link: Tories to 'sever links' with academic selection | Uk News | News | Telegraph.

Perhaps to a shadow education secretary who went to the King Edward's School in Birmingham and a leader of the Opposition who went to Eton College this makes some sense. Perhaps to them, embracing the failed educational radicalism of the 1960's is in some way hip. To someone who actually went to a comprehensive school, it is nothing less than a betrayal.

Nothing has damaged Britain more in my lifetime than comprehensive education. Ask my young relative who was reduced to pleading with his teacher to be allowed to work in a store cupboard so that he could be away from the chaos in his classroom. Ask Frank Chalk. The Soviet Union was never so ultra-left as to believe that one size fits all when it comes to schooling. The British Conservative Party is now officially to the left of the CPSU.

If the Grammar School system "entrenches advantage", why has social mobility declined since it was - for the most part - abolished? According to research from the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics and Political Science;

  • In a comparison of eight European and North American countries, Britain and the United States have the lowest social mobility
  • Social mobility in Britain has declined whereas in the US it is stable
  • Part of the reason for Britain's decline has been that the better off have benefited disproportionately from increased educational opportunity

The researchers concluded that social mobility has declined over the last 30 years in Britain and that this is in part due to:

the strong and increasing relationship between family income and educational attainment

Precisely the relationship in fact  that was, for a brief time in British education, broken by the Grammar Schools. Comprehensive schools are so destructive of working class opportunity that they might as well have been designed to keep clever working class children "in their place."  Sometimes, I think they were.

h/t Bel is Thinking

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