In response to ‘Schools that work for everyone’, Sir Peter Lampl, Chairman of the Sutton Trust and of the Education Endowment Foundation, said:
“I welcome the opportunity that the Green Paper provides for a consultation on the Prime Minister’s social mobility proposals. It is important that whatever measures are introduced genuinely improve social mobility for low and middle income young people.
“Sutton Trust research has shown that the existing grammar schools are highly socially selective, mainly because of extensive private tuition and prep schools for those who can afford them. Through outreach, test preparation for all and contextual admissions this could be changed. The government should ensure that existing grammar schools get it right before opening more. We also need to ensure that highly able young people in comprehensives get the support they need to succeed.
“It is vital too that the needs of all young people are addressed. So we need more focus on what research shows works in improving academic standards, addressing essential life skills and preparing young people for higher education and apprenticeships. But above all, rather than focus on structures we need to focus on teaching which all the evidence shows to be most important in raising standards.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Sutton Trust is a foundation set up in 1997, dedicated to improving social mobility through education. It has published over 170 research studies and funded and evaluated programmes that have helped hundreds of thousands of young people of all ages, from early years through to access to the professions.
- The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) is a grant-making charity set up in 2011 by the Sutton Trust as lead foundation in partnership with Impetus Trust (now part of Impetus–The Private Equity Foundation), with a £125m founding grant from the Department for Education. The EEF is dedicated to breaking the link between family income and educational achievement. Since its launch the EEF has awarded £75.4 million to 127 projects working with over 750,000 pupils in over 7,500 schools across England. The EEF and Sutton Trust are, together, the government-designated What Works Centre for Education.
- According to the Sutton Trust / EEF Teaching and Learning Toolkit, setting or streaming appears to benefit higher attaining pupils and, on average, does not appear to be an effective strategy for raising the attainment of disadvantaged pupils, who are more likely to be assigned to lower groups. The EEF is funding a trial, run by Prof Becky Francis at King’s College London, to investigate best practice in grouping students by attainment. More information can be found here.
- Poor Grammar, research from the Sutton Trust based on an analysis by Prof Anna Vignoles showed that less than 3% of entrants to grammar schools are entitled to free school meals – an important indicator of social deprivation – whereas almost 13% of entrants come from outside the state sector, largely believed to be fee-paying preparatory schools.