Not on the scrap heap

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I must take issue with the letter from Kevin Jones, Friday, September 23, regarding grammar schools.

He may be a headteacher but he is not aware as to what happens in the real world.

I passed the 11-plus in the ’50s and went to grammar school and that suited me fine but I had friends who failed the exam and went to secondary modern.

At no time did my friends consider that I was in a better position than them. In fact it was the reverse as they didn’t have to do reams of homework and their subjects suited them better.

When they left school they were employed in engineering, steelworks, construction, etc and continued education by going to night school and day release in order to obtain ONC, HNC and City and Guilds qualifications.

These school leavers were definitely not on the “scrap heap” as Kevin says, but they were the backbone of the many industries in South Yorkshire and without them these industries would not exist.

Some of the occupations were highly skilled like pattern makers, engineering draughtsmen, fitters, plate layers, etc.

Similar situations occurred with girl leavers doing business studies and nursing.

One thing that is often forgotten is that when they started work they had money in their pockets and could go out for a pint, whereas it would be many years after leaving grammar school that pupils with O and A levels could do the same.

I would be interested in the reaction if Kevin told a foreman fitter that he was on the “scrap heap”.

He would probably hit him with his spanner.

J Bunting