10:45AM, Monday 17 October 2016
This week some families in the area are awaiting the results of the 11-plus tests which will determine whether their children gain a place at a grammar school in a neighbouring county. This letter is addressed to them.
For those whose children achieve the pass mark – well done for combining nature (the right genetic mix to enable your kids to solve reasoning problems) and nurture (support, aspiration and perhaps a bit of private tutoring) to produce an elite child.
For those who didn’t make the grade – do not despair. You are fortunate to live in a town where comprehensive schools still exist.
That means your child can go to an all ability school locally where the brighter students do just as well as their peers who have gone to grammars and the less bright at the age of ten do better than their contemporaries in the selective system.
Lots of them get to good universities, even Oxbridge, or are offered great apprenticeships and become successful, secure and happy adults.
So, while you might be sad you put your ten year old’s childhood on hold for a few months of intense studying and some of your friends are bragging about their successful Grammar boy or girl, consider your good fortune that Government education policy has not re-introduced selection into RBWM – yet.
Our senior schools haven’t been replaced by secondary moderns as they have over the county borders so you still have choice, with the ‘safety net’ of good local comprehensives.
In fact, think yourselves lucky that you live in Maidenhead and your child can get to go to a comprehensive with all its advantages of inclusive education and equality of opportunity and take a moment to tell your councillor and our MP how we already enjoy ‘Schools That Work for Everyone’.
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