25 OCTOBER 1975, Page 3

Educational . standards Sir: It is difficult to understand Mr Stephen Evans's comments (September 27 ), on the disturbing Manchester 'A'

and level figures provided by Dr Boyson (August 23).

If one considers the relative trends in the figures, be they local or national, the effects of sampling errors, creaming, school classification, ROSLA etc are minimised. For example, in 1968 the combined grammar and secondary Modem schools were 40 per cent better than the comprehensive schools in terms of university entrance, and this margin had increased to 47 per cent in 1972 and a quite remarkable 55 per cent in 1973.

Mr Evans also suggests that factual proof of the levels of educational attainment in the comprehensive system must wait until this system hE..s run a longer course, But surely we have been experimenting in this country with various comprehensive systems of secondary education for the last thirty years. After such a period, one might justifiably ask for reasonable evidence that educational standards are at least being maintained in relation to those of the selective system. In fact, not one scrap of valid evidence has been produced.

Finally, may I support Mr Evan's condemnation of the destruction of good direct grant schools for the sake of ideology. Perhaps Mr Evans will also support those who ask the Education Secretary to assure parents that the comprehensive system is maintaining academic standards relative to the selective system, before destroying good grammar and secondary modern schools.

A. Spedding Alteryn, Copperkins Lane, Amersham, Bucks