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Last Updated: Monday, 17 May, 2004, 05:46 GMT 06:46 UK
Grammar Schools: right or wrong?
Chris Woodhead at his old school
We sent Chris Woodhead back to his old grammar school
In some areas, it was abolished 30 years ago. In other parts of Britain, the 11-plus exam is still alive and well.

The question of whether children do better at Grammar Schools or at Comprehensives is still a political hot potato, several decades after the majority of Britain switched to the Comprehensive system.

An influential group of MPs is looking at the issue - and it's expected to give its verdict within the next few weeks.

  • In the second of two special reports, Breakfast drafted in the former Chief Inspector of Schools, Chris Woodhead, to put the case for Grammar Schools.

    He believes that bright children are allowed to "coast" in comprehensives: they'll only raise their game if they're taught with other talented pupils.

    He also argues that Grammar Schools are far more effective at raising the number of working class children who go to university.

  • studio debate

    We heard from Barry Sheerman, the Chairman of the Education Select Committee of MPs which is investigating school selection.

    He was joined by Tim Dingle, Headmaster of the Royal Grammar School in High Wycombe and Margaret Tulloch from the Campaign for State Education.

  • On Monday, we put the case for abolishing selection

    We sent Fiona Millar - a school governor and former Downing Street Advisor, to Seven Kings School in Essex.

    Fiona Millar in school science laboratory
    Fiona Millar put the case for Comprehensives
    She believes firmly that Comprehensives are the best for all children - regardless of their parental background.

    Grammar schools tend to have fewer children from ethnic minorities - and fewer children who have free school meals, an indicator of family poverty, she says.

  • We had a huge e-mail response from you on the question of grammar schools

    The case for Comprehensives
    Former Downing Street advisor Fiona Millar reports for Breakfast

    The case for Grammar Schools
    Chris Woodhead goes back to his old grammar school in Croydon

    Should grammars go?
    We debated the issues with Barry Sheerman MP, Margaret Tulloch and headaster Tim Dingle

    BBC Breakfast


    Your Comments
    23 Dec 03  |  Breakfast


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