Grammar school statistics show increased progression for pupils

The grammar school debate has taken a turn this week, following the release of official data disclosed for the first time.

New statistics show positives

Figures released earlier this week show that poor children at grammar schools are almost twice as likely to get a place at a top university as richer children who attend comprehensive schools.

When compared against other disadvantaged children at comprehensives, those at grammar schools are three times more likely to attend an elite university.

The data also goes on to show that children who were previously not high attainers made even more progress in grammar schools than their high performing classmates.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said that the figures supported grammar schools, giving the government ‘even more reason to make more of these good school places available in even more areas’.

Ms Greening went on to say: ‘We want to build a country that works for everybody and that means an excellent education for every child. These figures show grammar schools open up fantastic opportunities for their pupils, no matter what their background. Too many children are currently held back from fulfilling their potential purely because of where they live or how much their parents earn’.

Following the proposed scrapping of the ban on grammar schools issued by Tony Blair back in 1998, grammar schools would be expected to improve the education of pupils in other local schools in an effort to stop a return to the binary education system of the past.

Opposition to grammar schools

Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to push ahead with the legislation shortly, and is likely to be opposed by Labour, Liberal Democrat and SNP MPs. This means that Mrs May will be dependent on the slim majority of the Conservative MPs in Parliament in order to push the plans through.

The Labour party remains highly critical of the planned changes to the education system. Lord Blunkett, who was Labour’s education secretary when the ban was first introduced, condemned the idea of allowing new grammars, stating: ‘It’s morally wrong, it’s philosophically wrong, it’s practically impossible to implement’. The Labour party argue that selective education increases class inequality.

Where do you stand on the proposed re-introduction of grammar schools? Can you see the benefit or do you think it will create a divide? Share your thoughts below!

One thought on “Grammar school statistics show increased progression for pupils

  1. I have mixed views about grammar schools. I was brought up in an area of social housing, where council estate joined another and then another massive council estate. 6 in all. When I attended a school at the opposite end of the city, I came across for the first time friends who lived in houses where the rent man did not call; including children from professional households and graduate parents. Aspiration is more likely when social mixing occurs, not from careers lessons. I agree with Theresa May that those most let down by comprehensive schools are those in working class areas. That is not a criticism of the teaching there. I travelled to my ‘out of area’ school with a free bus pass. When ‘choice’ became possible in the 1980s, the local council made school bus passes available only in cases where their own allocation to catchment school necessitated travel. Theresa May needs to focus on travel costs in order to enable the social mixing of grammar schools to occur. Not continuing the social isolation by placing grammar schools in social housing areas. As parents even on higher rate income tax feel hard up nowadays, it has to be free travel for all, not just those on free school meals.

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