Regarding the letters in Your Voice (Michaelmas 2016), there is surely a case to be made for communities accepting schools which offer an academic education for those who would benefit. This is especially so where none exists currently in the existing comprehensives in those areas.
We also need technical schools in their modern guise of Lord Baker’s University Technical Colleges. Different children have different strengths and aptitudes. They deserve an appropriate education, and all children ought not to be given the same, although making the differentiation at 11 may be too early.
There is no reason why introducing, or adding to, the provision of academic ( or technical) education in the state sector, for the relatively small percentage of pupils who would benefit from it, has to condemn the majority to have to attend poor schools, as is often claimed.
As about 45-50% of school leavers get into HE, and many come from comprehensives, clearly the mainstream state schools are doing well and would continue to do so even if they lost a small percentage of pupils to the new provision. The companion school to a grammar does not have to be a one of the poor secondary moderns of the 1950s.
Those in the educational establishment , and even the Social Mobility Commission, who complain about the need for more state pupils to get into top universities, and to get top jobs later, have to face the fact that the foundation for all HE is what schools provide. This foundation sometimes has to be more than being a pupil in a school mainly dedicated to getting as many as possible up to level C at GCSE, however laudable that aim is.