Labour are aghast, and the overwhelmingly grammar school and privately educated commentariat is hitting the keyboard hard in rage against Theresa May’s grammar school push. Wonkish types in the think-tank world and their fellow travelling social justice warriors are also quoting statistics and research that reveal the injustice of grammar schools being dominated by the middle classes. So why do Tories support them?
In private most Tories believe that the selective nature of grammar schools does not result in an unmeritocratic outcome. More intelligent kids get into more academically rigorous schools. They are mainly middle class because the middle classes are generally more intelligent, that is how they got to be middle class. “You can’t say it, that’s a third rail it’s inadvisable to touch in this debate”, one well known Tory educationalist told Guido. Openly acknowledging that middle class kids tend to have higher measured IQs means accepting that IQ is an inherited characteristic, that on the whole nature trumps nurture. That social class and IQ are not unrelated. These are things not to be spoken of in polite society.
High Tory aristocrats and free market meritocrats agree. They know the data appears to show that the middle classes dominate grammar schools. They just don’t believe the domination is unfair.