Grammar school success ‘down to privilege’

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Sentence structure schools perform no better than non-selective state schools, once their pupils’ higher ability and wealth is usually taken into account, a study suggests.

Academics at Durham University discovered the “apparent success” of these totally selective schools was down to their particular brighter and more advantaged pupils.

They say increasing the number of universities that select pupils by capability would be dangerous for equality.

The government said it was trying to widen access to grammar schools.

Grammar schools have a popularity for high academic achievement plus dominate the top of the school little league tables.

‘Social segregation’

But this particular research, based on the detailed results of almost 550, 000 pupils, suggests after the ability and social background associated with pupils is taken into account, grammar universities are no more or less efficient than other schools.

The research not only looked at the interpersonal backgrounds of grammar pupils, but additionally:

  • rates of persistent poverty
  • ethnicity
  • home language
  • specific educational needs
  • age in the season group

The findings suggest England’s grammars take only a tiny percentage of pupils who are, or have already been, eligible for free school meals.

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This is important, state the researchers, because such pupils’ results tend to decline with each year they are on free meals.

This means that other schools within selective areas are taking more than their particular fair share of the poorest plus chronically poor pupils.

The Conservative government had to give up on plans to allow new grammar colleges to open, following its weak place in Parliament after the general selection.

But ministers are usually keen to continue to allow existing grammars to expand.

‘No clear gain’

An analysis of pupil numbers with the BBC showed roughly the same as 11 new selective schools have been created since 2010 as current schools had expanded.

Prof Stephen Gorard, from Durham’s School of Education, said: “Dividing children into the most able as well as the rest from an early age does not appear to result in better results for either group.

“This means that the type of social segregation experienced by children within selective areas in England, and the harm to social cohesion that ensues, is perfect for no clear gain.

“This is not to decry the schools that are currently grammars, or the work of their staff.

“However, the results mean that grammar schools in England risk social cohesion for no apparent improvement in overall results. The particular policy is a bad one. inch

A Department with regard to Education official said: “We wish every child to receive a worldclass education and to give parents higher choice when it comes to picking the school you got it for them – grammar schools really are a part of this.

“Around 60% of these schools currently prioritise admissions for disadvantaged kids, and we are continuing to work carefully with the school sector to expand access further.

“Research shows that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds make better progress across core subjects in selective schools, and attain better results. ”