Letters:Grammar Schools a Beacon of Quality

The Independent (London, England), July 29, 1998 | Go to article overview
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Letters:Grammar Schools a Beacon of Quality

IF BIRMINGHAM'S Grammar schools are so bad for education in this area, could someone please tell me why so many teachers attempt to move heaven and earth to get their own offspring into them?

The King Edward's schools, in particular, have been a national beacon for the quality of education available in this city, for as long as I can remember. Despite this, they are somehow being made a scapegoat for the failings of other schools.

As for the 'think tank' who thought that grammar school pupils were 'out of touch', they obviously didn't witness the thousands of people from all socio-economic and ethnic groups turning up with their children for the Grammar school entrance examination s.

I did, and am proud that the tradition is still available on a non fee-paying basis in Birmingham.

The people of this city should not be hoodwinked by the flawed theory that the destruction of Grammar Schools will make bad schools perform better.

P B Morgan,

Shottery Grove,

Sutton Coldfield

Funding is same

The statement that the success of Grammar schools is achieved at the expense of comprehensive schools is utter and complete nonsense.

A Grammar school has to be funded by the Education Service to the same extent as any other school. Anything a Grammar school has to offer over and above that funding has to be provided by the parents' fees and other means.

The parents of the children at Grammar schools pay Council Tax, and taxes to the state the same as any other taxpayer and have the right to decide where and how their children are educated.

Birmingham's Education Department has to provide the same basic education facilities to each child irrespective of the parents' income. The failure of comprehensive schools has got nothing to do with Grammar schools in any way.

R P Carthey,

Holders Gardens,


On list for axe?

Why have the number of children referred to George Auden School in the last five years dropped to just nineteen? Is it because they want to close the school and sell the land to developers?

The school recently received a glowing report from Ofsted inspectors who praised the high quality of teaching.

My grandson is a Downs Syndrome child, born with cataracts in both eyes, and with a mild form of autism. How can Education Director Tim Brighouse expect children like this

to attend mainstream schools? The idea is utterly ludicrous.

Instead of closing these special schools, more should be opened as there are waiting lists in some areas.

Name and address supplied


When is something going to be done about the blatant disregard of parking notices along Alum Rock Road? Cars are parked on double yellow lines, on pavements and in bus stops.

They also totally ignore the fact that they should indicate - and just pull out or turn without any warning, causing severe frustration to all concerned. I have even been on a bus when we have had two car drivers holding up traffic by having a car-to-car conversation with each other.

This stupid behaviour adds sometimes up to 20 minutes on my journey both to and from work every day.

L Wright,

Bushbury Road, Stechford


Cemetery staff right to clear grave

HAVING worked in a cemetery for over 25 years, I feel I must reply to your article about the woman who was kicking up a fuss about the flowers, teddy bears and vases she had put on her stillborn child's grave, which had correctly been removed by cemetery staff.

In hospital the woman would have had the option either to have the stillborn child incinerated or buried in a public grave. She would have been given literature on the cemetery rules and regulations, telling her that flowers, vases and other trinkets wer e not allowed.

May I also remind the woman that the colonial grave, in which her stillborn child along with many others would have been placed, did not cost her anything at all.

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