National Grammar Schools Association
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Spurious attack on grammars

15th June 2001 - Times Educational Supplement Letters

The unwarranted assumption in your article that "Selection 'leads to lower standards'" (TES May 25) was based on unsubstantiated claims by Professor David Jesson on work that he has not yet published.

Last year similar premature pronouncements were made by your newspaper and taken up by leading politicians, prior to the publication of Professor Jesson's work.

But Professor Sig Prais, of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, has shown that Professor Jesson's data actually proves the opposite of what he had claimed - ie grammar schools do add more value to the top ability group than comprehensives.

Professor Jesson agreed with this and accepted that there was no statistical basis for his conclusions.

So to print more unsubstantiated and contentious statements on unpublished work is perverse in the extreme. Where is the balanced reporting your readers expect?

John Harris
Vice Chairman,
(National Grammar Schools Association).