Grammar schools widen gap between rich and poor

The Sutton Trust was quoted by Jonathan Brown in the Independent in a report on new grammar school research.

Grammar schools contribute to social inequality and lead to a widening of the income gap between rich and poor, according to new research.

The study represents the starkest evidence yet of the long-term harm suffered by those who miss out on grammar school places – as well as of the impact of selective education on the communities where it has been preserved.

It found that in areas with a grammar school system, top earners are likely to earn £16.41 an hour more than those on the lowest incomes, or the equivalent of around £30,000 a year based on a typical 35-hour week.

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Earlier this month more than half of grammar heads said they were preparing to revise admission procedures to increase the number of children from low-income families attending. Research by the Sutton Trust showed that just 2.7 per cent of places went to children receiving free school meals compared with 16 per cent in all secondary schools.

It followed growing criticism of the system, including by the Ofsted head Sir Michael Wilshaw, who said grammar schools did nothing to promote social mobility, describing them being “stuffed full of middle-class kids”.

James Turner, director of programmes at the Sutton Trust, said: “Whatever your views on selection, grammar schools are a feature of our education system, so the priority must be to ensure they are opened up to bright pupils from low and middle-income backgrounds.”

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A 2013 study by academics from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, the University of Cambridge and York University found that more than four times as many of the 22,000 Year Seven entrants into grammar schools each year were likely to come from private schools, compared with those on free school meals.

Read the full article here.

2017-05-26T16:21:00+00:00May 29th, 2014|Categories: In the News|