The prime minister wants to end the ban on new grammar schools. Quite right too | Robert McCartney

Academy and comprehensive schools are largely failures. Social mobility for bright pupils in deprived areas will be improved by more grammars RA Butler’s 1944 education reforms revolutionised access to post primary education. Every child who demonstrated a capacity to benefit from it would receive a free academic education, previously only available to those whose parents could pay for it. The basis of the policy was that of equality of opportunity based on merit; and hundreds of thousands of working-class children were to take advantage of it over the next 30 years. By the mid 1960s more than 3,000 grammar schools were educating, among others, a legion of working-class pupils. State grammars were offering a free education comparable to that of the independent schools, and their pupils were mounting this new ladder of upward social mobility to claim their rightful places in the professions, the arts and the sciences. The multiplicity of places available guaranteed a wide social mix, and feeder primary schools took pride in the number of their pupils who gained admission. Continue reading...