28 JUNE 1963, Page 11

PARENTS' PRIVILEGE SIR,—May I, please, endorse Mrs. Eagling's criticism of

Mr. Pedley's 'Parents' Privilege'? Mr. Pedley has praised indiscriminately all local authorities who have introduced the two-tier sys- tem of junior and senior comprehensive schools, but the evidence on which to judge them is still very slight. It seems that many Labour Party advocates of comprehensive schools are less con- cerned with their educational advantages than with social equality.

Most critics of selection at eleven appear to accept eleven as the age at which secondary edu- cation inevitably begins, but if a complete reorganisation of secondary education is desirable might not the following be a more satisfactory basis for an educational system : junior school (age five to nine), intermediate school (nine to thirteen) and senior school from thirteen?

At the moment the West Riding proposes to in- troduce. in some areas, its own version of the two- tier system in which all children will move to the senior high school at fourteen. Since most children here leave school at fifteen, they will waste their last two or three terms in a new school which is geared to passing '0' and 'A' level. I have heard it claimed that all will gain from this system. but I can only conclude, like Mrs. Eagling, that this educational folly has been dictated by the existing school buildings without sufficient thought.


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