Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Way forward for grammars

It is essential that the present situation regarding the transfer test and the reforming of the whole secondary system of education should be resolved as soon as possible. Perhaps I could suggest a way forward.

The restriction on numbers entering the grammar school system should be abolished. This would mean that grammar schools would be able to accept all pupils who apply - regardless of academic ability or any other criterion.

In the case of a grammar school not having sufficient space, the school should be given financial assistance to expand. Grammar school heads should demand the abolition of the quota restricting their intakes in return for agreeing to relinquish the criterion relating to academic ability.

If this were to happen, the grammar schools would eventually become comprehensives and non-grammar secondary schools would be able to compete with them on a more equal playing field.

We are constantly told about parental choice and that parents have the right to choose the type of education most suitable for their children.

By allowing grammar schools to accept all those who apply, this would become a reality.

CONCERNED OBSERVER

Belfast

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