Peter Hitchens spells it out in his usual style.
Peter Hitchens, Mail on Sunday, 30 November 2008
The great comprehensive con
The unsolved scandal of our appalling State schools is not helped by the way so much of the media continue to believe Government lies, miss the point or side with the wreckers.
I have now had a good look at an excellent study of selective schooling by the Sutton Trust, which was recently reported as an anti-grammar-school story by the hopelessly biased, Left-wing BBC.
They led off their website story by saying that grammars don’t take many bright children from poor homes. Of course they don’t. There are now so few grammar schools in so few places that they are besieged by well-off people using every lawful device to get their children into them.
But what the BBC buried was a much more interesting fact. The most socially selective State schools in Britain – that is, the ones with the biggest bias towards children of better-off parents – are alleged ‘comprehensives’.
This is because of the secret selection which such schools operate – from tiny catchment areas, to complex feeder school arrangements, to religion.
All of these fiddles are used all the time by Labour (and now Tory) politicians.
They wish to shore up the great, whopping untruth that State schools are fundamentally all right, when the truth is that good State schools are rare and fiercely biased against the poor.
Now you have to ask yourself why the political parties, and the media, want to suppress this truth.
As always, it’s partly because they refuse to admit they were wrong about destroying the grammar schools.
But it’s also because the privileged do quite well out of the current deal. The thing is, comprehensive schools were introduced by people calling themselves socialists who claimed to be helping the non-privileged.
Wouldn’t you expect that they would think again, if given evidence that comprehensives actually reinforce privilege? No, they prefer silence or dishonesty.
A very hot place in hell is reserved for such people, but in the meantime, let us bring back selection. It’s far fairer than ‘comprehensives’. And it can be done, as the former East Germany has shown.