A veteran cleric who helped oversea the switchover from the grammar school system to comprehensive in the Royal Borough has joined the clamour against 'turning the clock back'.

Reverend Canon Doctor Jeremy Hurst, 77, who lives in Bolton Avenue, Windsor, was deputy headteacher at Desborough School in Shoppenhangers Road, Maidenhead in 1984 when the system changed in the borough.

He is unhappy about Government plans - supported by the current Windsor and Maidenhead authority - to reintroduce some sort of selection, saying: "Grammar schools may bring advantages to the minority that attend them but they bring disadvantages to the majority who do not.

"There is no adequate reason for selecting children. The process causes much stress.

"Most parents feel the need to pay for extra tuition."

Doctor Hurst was the Rector of Langley until his retirement in 2005, representing the church on the Slough Borough Education Committee.

He is also a former chairman of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Education.

The busy grandfather still officiates at services across the area.

He believes a return to selection would weaken Maidenhead's schools and damage community cohesion.

He said: "In Slough lots of pupils come from outside the area to use the grammar school system, while many pupils come from Slough to Maidenhead to go to its comprehensives.

"When it comes to encouraging people to be educated in their local schools selection operates very much against this."

His view is by headteachers of Windsor's comprehensive schools.

The heads of Windsor Boys School and Windsor Girls School recently joined with the head of St Edward's Royal Middle Free School, writing to the Royal Borough to express their opposition to a return to selection.

Although in Maidenhead the principal of Doctor Hurst's old school has expressed an interest in bringing back a degree of selection.