Apologies if this has been done before. Iâve had a look around but found nothing, so here goesâ¦ The Conservatives are reported as being set to embarrass Tony Blair by supporting his education reforms whilst many of his own senior MPs oppose them. The chairman of the education select committee, Labourâs Barry Sheerman, is calling for council-imposed quotas on school selection (to help disadvantaged parents) and a ban on the expansion of popular schools âif they undermine education locallyâ, whatever that means. The more I think about this the more I despair for our education system. Decades of levelling down and council meddling like that above have brought about the current situation in which all shall have prizes and no-one ever fails anything, they just have âdeferred successâ. The perceived value of a university degree is lower than itâs ever been, largely because someone who can barely read or write can end up with a degree in text speak from Nelson Mandela University (formerly Doncaster Polytechnic). We used to select the brightest of our children, regardless of the family income, and educate them free of charge at grammar schools. The remainder went to secondary moderns, where they leaned a mixture of the academic and the practical. This is apparently âelitistâ, and only marginally more acceptable than membership of Column 88. I know the grammar school system wasnât perfect but it did allow children from poor backgrounds to get a good education. I have a suspicion (and without the facts thatâs all it is) that the opposition isnât from the less well off parents whose children would benefit from grammar schools, but the chattering classes who can afford to move house or who send their offspring to faith schools. What do you think? If a return to something more akin to the old system were possible, would it be a good thing?