Perhaps what is also important here is an understanding of the factors which make us make judgements about what the potential actually is of the students in front of us. Moreover the structures we put in place as a consequence of those judgements may be deeply damaging and flawed. (John Simkin's experience is highly informative here).
This isn't a two Ronnies 'I know my place' sketch - this is practical reality in school. I am fundamentally opposed to anything which prevents students from succeeding to their potential. That should be the focus here.
I know I am on dangerous ground here because questions I raise and observations I make could very easily be taken as a personal affront by some. Please rest assured I don't dare question the conscious motives of any teacher least of all those in this forum.
However I would maintain that our systems "succeses" be they grammar school kids or top set kids in "comprehensive" schools do seem in general terms to share common features in terms of socio economic group and ethnicity. Selection, setting, streaming and banding in my opinion are important causal factors in this undesirable outcome. As is a teacher's ideological baggage and the ways in which this informs the interaction with students
The comprehensive ideal aimed to challenge this...... where has it gone?