I’M confused. I need educating about education – so much has changed since I was there.

What’s an Academy school? What’s a free school? What’s all this about schools being specialist arts colleges or science colleges or media colleges or whatever seems to take their fancy?

I wonder why schools just can’t be schools any more?

Back in my day, it was all very simple. You went to junior school and you took your 11 plus.

If you passed, you went to your local grammar school if you failed (yes, remarkably this was back in the day before the madness of political correctness and the ‘no failure’ ideologues took over and it was ok to say people failed) you went to your local secondary modern school.

Of course, there was always a slight complication if you were a Catholic like me, but the principle was the same.

In my opinion, the system wasn’t perfect but it worked more or less and I never quite came to terms with why it had to change.

And just look at the wondrous arrangement they put in place – comprehensive schools.

Let’s face it, the comprehensive system hardly covered itself in glory.

Those two bastions of educational excellence in Winsford – Woodford Lodge and Verdin high schools – ceased to exist, and were replaced with the E-ACT Academy, while Rudheath High School went on its Christmas break the other year and mysteriously reappeared a couple of weeks later as a University of Chester Academy.

Good luck to them, I say, and good luck to the young people going through the system at a time when it’s being used as a political football. Frankly, I think our kids deserve better.

But to listen to our headteachers, you would think everything is coming up roses in the groves of academe.

Yes, it’s that time of year, these glorious August days when the A-level and GCSE results come out and head teachers launch into their annual bout of self-congratulation.

I can hear it now ‘another record-breaking year’, ‘we’ve bucked the national trend’, ‘it’s all down to the hard work of our dedicated teachers’, or maybe ‘it’s all down to the support of our wonderful parents/governors’ (delete as applicable depending on which script is being used).

But this is in the context of the top GCSE grades actually falling this year. Marking in some subjects has got tougher and the grade boundaries have shifted, actually making it more difficult to pass some GCSEs.

Oops sorry. I used the ‘pass’ word. What I meant to say was it’s made it more difficult to get an A* to C grade, thereby trying to con us into believing a D grade and below isn’t a fail.

Who’s telling the truth, I wonder, because if the top grades have fallen nationally yet all our schools have had ‘another record-breaking year that’s bucked the national trend’, there must be some schools somewhere that have had a really terrible year.

One last thought. Not every local authority in the country got rid of grammar schools. Just a few miles from Cheshire, both Wirral and Trafford kept selective education and have consistently achieved staggeringly good results across all their schools including their high schools.

Perhaps things really were better in education when you passed or failed your 11 plus and maybe those councils who still have grammar schools know how to ‘buck the national trend’.