Helen Warrell mentioned Sutton Trust research in a Financial Times report on the grammar school debate.
David Cameron warned his backbenchers before the 2010 election that their enthusiasm for grammar schools would turn into an “electoral albatross” for Labour to hang around Tory necks.
Apparently undeterred, Conservative MPs have struck once again with a campaign to bring back selective state schools, prompting a re-run of the tortured debate about class, opportunity and social mobility that has dogged British politics for 40 years.
However, although grammar schools are intended to improve access for low-income pupils, the evidence shows this is not the case. According to the Sutton Trust, a social mobility charity, only 2.7 per cent of grammar school entrants are eligible for free school meals, even though, on average, 18 per cent of UK pupils would fit into this category.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has found that more deprived children are significantly less likely to go to grammar schools than the most advantaged, even when they achieve equally good results aged 11. Put more simply, in the words of Sir Michael Wilshaw, chief inspector of the schools regulator Ofsted, the 164 grammars remaining in Britain today are “stuffed full of middle-class kids”.
Read the full piece here (£)