She certainly did not take that stance when she was shadow education secretary, and I was her junior team member in charge of grammars, back in 1999. Selective schools, and the higher education, employment and earnings outcomes of those who attend them In retrospect, it is extraordinary how very few representations I received against the selective system in my 22 years as an MP, given that only 25% of any cohort of children will pass the 11-plus. Grammar schools are no more successful than comprehensives at getting their pupils into elite universities, according to new research. Compare that with neighbouring Luton, where the difference was only 13%. Next to it was the Buckingham school, the local secondary modern, less traditional, admirably serving its pupils who did not pass the 11-plus. In the town there are two state secondary schools, a grammar and a secondary modern, right next door to each other. When I was elected in 1997, it seemed like an apartheid system. Why? Given the choice between stats and personal experience, I give a heavy weighting to the latter. Grammar schools in the UK “do no better in terms of pupil achievement than other schools”, according to a new study. Therefore, the chances of children from these backgrounds are lesser in any test situation. Slowly, I came to see that 11 is far too young to select and that it is massively damaging to the self-esteem of the child. Want an ad-free experience?Subscribe to Independent Premium. Of course, I always supported both schools to the best of my ability – that is a local MP’s job. {{#verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}} {{^verifyErrors}} {{message}} {{/verifyErrors}}, Read more New grammar school opening, but don't expect more to follow, You may not agree with our views, or other users’, but please respond to them respectfully, Swearing, personal abuse, racism, sexism, homophobia and other discriminatory or inciteful language is not acceptable, Do not impersonate other users or reveal private information about third parties, We reserve the right to delete inappropriate posts and ban offending users without notification. Grammar pupils were encouraged to feel superior and many secondary modern students probably resented them. It was a case of education levelling down rather than up and so even more poorer children missed out on university. I was warmly welcomed in both schools. Read our full mailing list consent terms here. When David Cameron was elected leader of the Tory party he said: “We shouldn’t keep banging on about grammar schools.” He did not want the Tory party to be defined by them – 164 schools out of thousands and thousands. Grammar schools have existed since the 16th Century, but the modern grammar school concept dates back to the Education Act 1944. And if you look at that income gap, it is lower in Grammars than in any other kind of schools in the country. And he was right. With the country so divided, and educational disadvantage growing so rapidly, even more so during the pandemic, it is time to act. Many high acheivers attended grammar schools The evidence is clear: grammar schools unfairly favour the affluent, whereas a high-quality comprehensive system can raise the achievements of the less able, while doing no damage to the academic chances of the cleverer child. I have also been profoundly influenced by my family’s experience, from seeing close up how a fantastic comprehensive works. ... while the kids at the secondary moderns and the comps did no better because the grammar was scrapped. I never understood why Theresa May made expanding grammar schools a centrepiece of her premiership, although I suspect she was influenced by her chief of staff, Nick Timothy, a high Tory and a grammar school enthusiast. According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, “there is robust evidence that attending a grammar school is good for the attainment and later earnings of those who get in”. I do not know if my elder son would have passed an exam at 10 (the age that many take the 11-plus) but at age 16, educated at a comprehensive, he has 11 GCSE passes, 10 of them at the top grade 9. But lately I have changed my opinion on grammar schools. See also: ‘Grammar schools and social mobility’: our first report on this area – the most detailed impartial study of the data and evidence on selective schools for almost a decade. There was a “them and us” attitude. Labour's arrangements for abolishing grammar schools were also a … ntil last year, I was the MP for Buckingham, in one of the few counties where education is fully selective. Although some children from deprived backgrounds do go to Private Schools on a scholarship or bursary, most are from wealthy backgrounds. My school taught ancient Greek – try finding that in a state school today, Find your bookmarks in your Independent Premium section, under my profile. But I do think private school students do in general do better academically than grammar schools anyway. ‘Students are selected based on their academic potential, to identify those who are most suitable for this type of education.’ Children who either don’t apply for a grammar school place or fail to meet the necessary academic st… Contradictory research has been produced, showing both that grammar schools consistently perform better than comprehensives in exams, and that results are not significantly better in areas with grammar schools. See related Pros and cons of creating new grammar schools We have put together a league table comparing UK grammar schools in terms of their academic performance which can make this process a bit easier for you. However, pupil intakes differ between grammars and non-selective schools, both in terms … In 2006, pupils in England’s 164 grammar schools produced more than half the total number of A grade A levels in so-called harder subjects than those … Grammar schools are unhealthy and should be phased out. So it is with the grammar schools. Until last year, I was the MP for Buckingham, in one of the few counties where education is fully selective. Here we give you the low-down on the state, grammar and private school systems to give you a better idea of what you are signing up for. Grammar schools are “horror movie monsters” to their detractors and “beacons of excellence” to their defenders. A number of grammar schools are reportedly being planned across England after the Government gave the go-ahead to the first "new" selective school in 50 years. Why Private Schools Are Better Than State. My three children attend Holland Park in west London, where I have now just been elected a parent-governor. Are you sure you want to mark this comment as inappropriate? Tomorrow's Budget is set to pave the way for a new generation of grammar schools, as part of a £500m investment in education reforms. In fact, the quality of the results achieved at grammar schools are simply because they select naturally high-achieving pupils from wealthier backgrounds. The Royal Latin admits just 3.4% of young people on pupil premium (a slightly broader measure of disadvantage), while the Buckingham school takes more than 19%. Holland Park school is extraordinarily socially and racially diverse, with nearly 17.7% of its school population on free school meals. The former Speaker and MP for selective Buckingham was an ardent defender - until his own children went to school and he drilled down into the stats, Last modified on Tue 1 Dec 2020 04.46 EST. The evidence suggests pupils who get into grammar schools perform better than they would under comprehensive education, and pupils who don’t perform worse. Whether you're in primary school and about to go to secondary school or in secondary school and starting to think about where you want to … I took the view that there had been too much structural change in education and that we needed to deal with the world as it was. Next to it was the Buckingham school, the local secondary modern, less traditional, admirably serving its pupils who did not pass the 11-plus. Grammar schools do not have better pupil attainment than other state schools and should be closed for the negative impact they have on social mobility, a new study has concluded. 05/06/2015 11:33am BST ... Would she have got that in a state school - even the excellent grammar … He was not unusual. She was keener to talk about schools in general, and explicitly not to associate the Tory party with the selective school issue. In the town there are two state secondary schools, a grammar and a secondary modern, right next door to each other. While that may have been true when Fred Perry – a great tennis hero of mine – went to grammar school in the 1920s, that is not the norm today. Allow grammar schools to expand – or better yet, open new ones in parts of the country you want to ‘level up’ – and the social mix of their pupils will change. The Royal Latin, founded in 1423, the one grammar school in the constituency, seemed to me to be the embodiment of excellence and confidence. Mine was fairly typical. We sent a decent proportion to Oxbridge, and I was one of them. Each grammar school and how it fared 1) Invicta Grammar School The following 10 schools have been ranked and rated as part of the Real Schools Guide 2020 - a Reach plc analysis, compiled by our in-house data unit. When parents did approach me, it was usually to seek my help to get their child into a grammar school. Had I been born in 1972 rather than 1962, by which time Leicestershire had started to abolish the grammars, I would not have had the life chances I have had. On average, 10.7% of pupils at Bucks’ non-selective schools are eligible for free school meals (FSM) while the figure for the county’s grammars is just 2%, and a third of Bucks’ non-selective schools are currently rated less than good. And despite 76 per cent of local authorities having no grammar schools, nearly 2,000 comprehensive schools send only slightly more pupils to Oxbridge than all 163 grammar schools. Intelligence cannot be measured at the age of 11. Grammar schools are government-funded secondary schools. Yet had that 20 per cent gone to a comp, they would have had a far worse schooling – while the kids at the secondary moderns and the comps did no better because the grammar was scrapped. Both the Conservatives and Labour have to take an honest and open position and support comprehensive education everywhere. The most insightful comments on all subjects will be published daily in dedicated articles. But the local political and civic establishment in Buckinghamshire was much more interested in the grammar school. Start your Independent Premium subscription today.

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