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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Grammar Schools

There is a big debate on at the moment about grammar schools.

We are continually reminded that one of the main reasons for grammar schools was the need for bright children from impoverished backgrounds to be able to receive an academic education.

Education has long been a political weapon in the hands of political parties. New words like `Personalised Education’ have crept into our working language. New initiatives like “Every Child Matters” have come to mean different things to different people.

Jargon will always be mixed up with honest sentiment. Of course every child should matter. Naturally all children need a personalised education. It is still essential that able children from impoverished backgrounds are given every possible opportunity.

The children who we are preparing for the eleven plus will need an education that will help to prepare them for a number of different occupations. These children will meet a wide range of obstacles in their lives. They will be part of changing attitudes to democracy and swings in political opinion.

As teachers and parents we would all like every single child to receive a worthwhile education. A dictionary definition of the word `grammar’ suggests grammar is to do with the rules of a language. Some dictionary definitions of the words `grammar schools’ include the words `a secondary school for children of high academic ability’.

That is exactly what we want for our children. We want them to be able to go to schools that cater for children of high academic ability.

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