Passing 11+ does not guarantee a better life

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WHAT a brilliant letter from S. St. James in Long Bennington.

How good to read the reasons for his/her anger about the possibility of King’s School becoming an academy rather than a grammar school and sad to know that the stigma of failing the 11+ for both the pupils and their parents may be substituted by equal opportunities for all.

After all, children who do not pass the 11+ are only fit for ‘sink schools’ as they are not of the status awarded to grammar school pupils, and taking away grammar school status may endanger their future, as the school would inevitably slip down hill.

Bit like universities really, of which many are of course excellent and essential, but many colleges have become universities, focussing more on the children who have passed their A-levels.

Status is close to stigma. But are the degrees always worth it? Those who are ‘academic’ enough to attend such places of excellence, often despite their degrees, cannot get a job, whilst those in apprenticeships, etc, have jobs.

BBC news and The Times discussed ‘as priority’ the fact that a young girl who went to a grammar school was involved in the riots, The Times emphasising the case of a young girl, their total focus on the front page, because she had actually got a degree. Shock, horror.

The reason is the status of singling out the academic from the rest of the population rather than treating children as equal, enabling them to filter into the areas of academia most suited. Stigma.

Have you never thought that a child or adult who is seriously handicapped but learns to smile or blink in response to care has achieved as much, if not more, than the children at King’s?

The people seen as at the ‘top’ of the ark, such as consultants, judges, doctors, MPs, the list goes on, have of course made full use of their academic abilities but not all of them went to grammar schools you know.

By the way, our children did not fail their 11+, they never took them, one has a degree and the other a stable job using her skills.