THERE is no rebellion among heads of London's Catholic grammar schools to Mr. Anthony Crosland's "go comprehensive" order, but reaction is decidedly unenthusiastic.
Reports that "aided schools" in the Greater London area are planning to rebel have been misinterpreted, say spokesmen for Catholic Schools Commissions and individual headmasters.
Although official opinion has not been canvassed to any large extent yet, opposition from South of the Thames does appear to be greater than in other parts of London.
However, Mgr. Bruce Kent, of the Westminster Diocesan Schools Commission, considers that most grammar schools will eventually accept Government policy.
South of the Thames, Mgr. Mahoney, of the Southwark Diocesan Schools Commission, says: "Consultations are still going on and it is far too early to say anything definite. "By and large, the secondary modern schools are happy with the prospect but the grammar schools have more reservations." he told the CATHOLIC
TWO-TIER SYSTEM "Many are not too keen on the two-tier system. The diocese is not going to drag people in."
Signs of a possible revolt against going comprehensive is contained in a statement from the Association of Governing Bodies, to which most of the Catholic grammar school heads in London belong.
It is urging that research should be carried out and carefully analysed before all the independent aided schools are merged into the comprehensive system.
It suggests that aided status and independence should be
retained along with the rights of parents to choose schools and that of the governors concerning right of admission.
One London Catholic headmaster assuring the CATHOLIC HERALD that a majority of his colleagues feel the same way as he, says they are not opposed to comprehensive schools. But consider they have yet to be proved as the sole means of secondary education.
Where comprehensive education has been effective, it has been carried out in schools that are purpose-built, he claims.
It is generally agreed that the
minimum to make a comprehensive school successful, should be a six-stream entry. In many cases, only a fivestream entry would be possible for the present grammar schools. • The hodge-podge of combining two schools into one comprehensive is not thought to be satisfactory, and authorities say the buildings should not be more than half a mile apart.
Catholic schools are in a special position, as they draw pupils from a wider area than non-Catholic schools.
The biggest obstacle to