Following the 1944 Education Act, British state secondary schools were divided into grammar schools, secondary modern schools and technical schools. These were largely replaced during the 1970s with comprehensive schools, admitting children of all abilities. In the mid-1990s, though, a few of the grammar schools remain nonetheless, while other state schools are re-introducing partial selection on the grounds of particular academic or arts ability, with social background playing a hidden role too. (According to the Socialist Educational Association, one mother is reputed to have been asked whether her child's father had tattoos before deciding whether to offer them a place.)

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