By josephfolwell, Sep 11 2016 11:32AM
Theresa May has been talking extensively to the press in previous weeks about her plans to open and expand the provision of grammar schools up and down the country. This plan has come under extensive fire from numerous politicians, including education secretary Nicky Morgan. In order to fully understand the controversy surrounding this topic, the pros and cons of the grammar school system to be fully explained.
A teacher's biggest challenge is to ensure that all students in the classroom are being stretched, whether they be studying advanced algebra or basic english skills. The thorn in the side of any teacher is executing this effectively, a challenge exacerbated by large classroom sizes and the inevitable fact that students start their school careers with varying degrees of ability. In hind sight the grammar school system seemed the perfect solution to this problem. Design a battery of tests which tested the academic ability of students, and whoever excelled gained entrance to a grammar school....a state education institute but with smaller classroom sizes. Surely this seemed like the perfect solution. Gifted students get to study in an accelerated envionment, and teachers get more time to support the needs of those students struggling. So where does the controversy stem from?
Let us consider the social and moral implications of such a system. Not only are we creating a social division between students at an increasingly young age, but imagine what this could do to the self esteem and self belief of students who fail these tests in their early teens? The message we are sending to these students is that they are simply not good enough. Go home and try again another day.
The flip side of the arguement is simple. Without grammar schools were are holding back the academic progress of students who are likely to go on to forge the teachers, doctors, bankers and scientists of tomorrow. Taking both sides of the argument into consideration highlights what a complex and multilayered problem this is, and whatever the views of the public are, this debate is lilkey to carry on for quite some time.....