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The question: Grammar schools

Education Secretary David Blunkett says grammar schools will disappear by 2011. How will this affect the education of our children?

The disappearance of grammar schools would be a bad thing for education. Educationalists' decades old quest for a common quality of schooling for all has led to a general reduction in the quality of education and a 'dumbing down' of schooling. Grammar schools are a beacon of good quality in a generally low quality field. The eradication of the few embarrassing high quality schools which show up the typical schools for the mediocrity merchants which they are, would not be a good thing. Government would do better to eradicate the culture of mediocrity which permeates our schools and educational establishment.

Matthew Toy, 35, group engineer, Surrey In theory there should be little or no effect on our children.

After all, how many of our children are currently grammar school educated?

Michael Battman, 45, safety manager, Warrington

Children are all different, with differing abilities - some are very academic, others very practical, and they should have the opportunity to develop their own individual skills in an encouraging environment.

Clever children become bored in classes that have to cater for all standards, and I think the demise of the grammar school would not benefit anyone.

Sandra Rolfe, 32, principal pipelines engineer, High Wycombe

The education of the majority of children will not suffer as a result of grammar schools closing. I feel that a pupil who is talented and wants to progress through the educational system will still be able to. I am not against grammar schools, they do provide a way that talented pupils can progress further and are pushed to go further. The grammar schools closing will affect some children, it will close certain doors. I feel that mixed ability classes will not help these children, classes must be split up into equal ability.

Andy Eggleston, 25, graduate traffic engineer, Milton Keynes

I must say that the schooling system in Norway, where I originally come from, is not suffering from the lack of grammar schools. Rather the opposite! Ninety nine percent of Norwegian schoolchildren go to the local school where they are 'lumbered' with all the children from their neighbourhood. There are no 'higher' or 'lower' bands of teaching, the children are taught to help and respect each other for their varying skills levels. I believe this gives children a better foundation to base their future lives on, as they understand that not everyone is as fortunate as themselves in terms of intelligence, social status or whatever. I have found the atmosphere quite different in this country, where some people appear to think they are better than others because of the school or university they went to. That is simply not true! I believe David Blunkett is moving in the right direction in getting rid of the old 'colonial-style' idea of grammar schools.

Gro Lindley, 28, graduate engineer, Newcastle upon Tyne

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