This seems like a pretty good way of identifying the most intelligent pupils who haven't had a great education but have developed some of the intellectual skills needed for higher study. Interestingly whilst she denounces it as an act of an unreformed left winger, in the USA where aptitude tests are widely used by higher education institutions, notably in the form of the SAT, it is largely the right that supports them and the left which opposes them. I don't think Melanie Phillips is even being internally consistent:
So he is expected to condemn 'positive discrimination' that gives preferential places to applicants from poor schools.
Yet at the same time, he is said to want universities to offer places to such pupils with lower grades, backed up by aptitude tests.
What was the 11+ if not an aptitude test? If it is a good system for identifying talented 11 year olds why is it class war to apply it to college age students?
But a key factor behind that shameful situation was the destruction of the grammar school.
This was Britain's historic engine of social mobility. Selective education is the single most effective vehicle ever devised for propelling poor children out of disadvantage.
Update: Here's a suggestion for a Thinking Skills Assessment that would act as an aptitude test for British Universities.