Commenting on the news that the Department for Education will launch a Selective Schools Expansion Fund, Sir Peter Lampl, Founder of the Sutton Trust, said:
“As the government supports the expansion of existing grammar schools, it is right to insist that they do more to improve access and to increase the numbers of disadvantaged pupils. Our research has shown how socially selective grammars are: you are ten times more likely to go to one if you went to a prep school than if you are on free school meals.
“Existing grammars should be expected to do more to support social mobility. We welcome the commitment by the grammar school heads to prioritise pupil premium pupils and improve outreach. However, all grammars should ensure that disadvantaged pupils who reach the minimum test score are admitted by right – as happens at some Birmingham grammars.
“We welcome the decision to maintain the 50% rule for faith schools: it is important that successful faith schools are not socially selective by virtue of overly restrictive admissions policies.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
- The Sutton Trust is a foundation set up in 1997, dedicated to improving social mobility through education. It has published over 200 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.
- Gaps In Grammar found that high proportions of grammar school pupils come from the independent primary school sector, roughly double the rate you would expect. In fact, a pupil attending a private prep school is ten times more likely to enter a grammar than a pupil on free school meals.