And talking about the BBC's attitude towards grammar schools (h/t to David Keighley here), there was a revealing comment from John Humphrys during a discussion about teaching mental health in schools on this morning's Today programme. He was talking to Kevin Courtney of the NUT:
Kevin Courtney: I think the cause is absolutely just. I'm worried about he particularities. I'm worried that it's treating the symptom not the cause of mental health, and I think we need to find ways of actually reducing the pressure on young people...John Humphrys: Well, maybe fewer exams or something?Kevin Courtney: Well, I think there is something in that, John. We don't need to have the SATs at Year 11. We don't need to have them in the way they're done. I mean, last year we told 47 % of eleven-year-olds, just before the summer holiday, that they were not ready to go to secondary school just before they went to secondary school. That's bound to have an effect on somebody's self esteem, isn't it, if you tell them they're not ready. It wasn't true, in my view, but we told 47 %...we told nearly half the eleven-year-olds in the country they weren't ready to go to secondary school....John Humphrys: On the other hand, if you go back a few decades, more than half of the eleven-year-olds in the country were told they weren't fit to go to a decent school and had to go to a rubbish school.Kevin Courtney: And I think that had mental health questions!
So such, in John Humphrys's estimation ("if you go back a few decades, more than half of the eleven-year-olds in the country were told they weren't fit to go to a decent school and had to go to a rubbish school"), was the grammar school system!