Where is the evidence that Grammar schools provide social mobility? A discussion with Lord Tebbit
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My reply.

Dear Lord Tebbit,

Thank you for taking the time to reply it is appreciated.

As my initial email was open and published on social media and we have never spoken ­before the “verbiage” was to provide context. However your point is taken I will endeavour to be succinct. N.B. Your replies are not being published on social media as per the confidentially clause in your email footers

The key word is proof. Your story is interesting but it does not provide scientific proof. It is not possible to extrapolate from your family’s experience in the 1940s to 100,000‘s of children in 2016? Your personal experience does not prove, in a scientific way, the case for academic selection.

As for Mr Crosland MP. I do not understand the relevance so no comment.

Has social mobility decreased since the number of grammar schools were substantially reduced?

· If it has where is the data that proves this?

· If it has reduced is there a direct correlation with the reduction in selective schools or are other factors at play?

· Was the selective system working to increase mobility for a few but in a way that actually held back the economy e.g. Unconscious bias (Google, RSA).

· With the policies of successive governments aiming to push up academic standards in the state sector would any current disparity in outcomes between grammar and state be significant?

· If they do work are they good value for tax payers money taking into account the number of children on whom they have a positive effect?

· Do they have a negative side effect on a larger proportion of children that are not selected?

· Is there a better solution?

The only pieces of research/evidence I can find that answers these questions (e.g. IFS) give answers that point to selection being a bad thing for society and the economy. But this brings us back to “filter bubbles” and “confirmation bias”. Hence why I am asking you to provide the opposing scientific proof.

What do you think of Prof. Carol Dwecks work?

Yours sincerely

Nigel Stirzaker