Antiquated approaches (2 of 2)

May 5, 2011

It is a pity that Jackie Cassell's attempt to challenge the availability of subjects in state schools should perpetuate the myth that high-achieving independent schools contain disproportionate numbers of "Tim Nice-But-Dim" pupils.

As recent research shows, A-level performance at school is overwhelmingly the best guide to university performance, and on this basis it is very likely that Wellington School's population contains fewer "Nice- But-Dim" pupils than the average secondary school in the UK. It is quite curious that other categories of pupil receive much less attention. Indeed, I would like to make the revolutionary proposal that we should be focusing on another group altogether: the "Nice-And-Bright" or even just "The Bright".

Schools such as Wellington, high-performing comprehensives in which parents in effect buy entry through residence and state grammars would, no doubt, wish to celebrate the number of pupils in this category, and parents would see such numbers as confirmation of their personalised family educational strategy. Is this reasonable? Or am I simply ahead of my time?

Rhobert Lewis, Brecon, Wales

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