Watching the recent flurry of TV debates on the question of whether to bring back grammar schools, you could be forgiven for thinking that the secondary modern school had no place in the debate. In every TV piece that I have seen the grammar proponents talk about Grammar schools educating the “most able” whilst the Comprehensive schools would be dedicated to the remaining pupils. Either they don’t understand what a Comprehensive school is or they are frightened to use the term Secondary Modern.
One of the justifications that council leaders in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead make for pursuing their grammar school policy is that they are increasing parental choice. They make this claim because of the number of parents that “opt” to send their children across our border into Buckinghamshire, Reading and Slough to attend grammar schools there.
Is it a choice?
Let’s start by examining the concept of choice in relation to grammar schools.