Grammar Schools and Progression to Higher Education

Grammar Schools and Progression to Higher Education

My latest paper, published by the Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI), looks at the impact of selective schools in ensuring progress to higher education.

The Impact of Selective Secondary Education on Progression to Higher Education, HEPI Occasional Paper 19, shows grammar schools increase the likelihood of progression for pupils from the bottom two quintiles of social disadvantage and for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) pupils. The analysis takes into account both the chances of children from different groups getting into a grammar school and how those children who do get in perform. The report is published in HEPI’s series of polemical papers, which are designed to challenge as well as to inform.

The report shows 45% of pupils at grammar schools come from households with below median income and that:

  • 39% of pupils in selective school areas progress from state schools to highly-selective universities, compared to just 23% in comprehensive areas;
  • a state school pupil from the most disadvantaged quintile is more than twice as likely to progress to Oxbridge if they live in a selective area than a non-selective area; and
  • a state school pupil with a BME background is more than five times as likely to progress to Oxbridge if they live in a selective area rather than a non-selective area.

The paper describes how most previous research has focused narrowly on eligibility for Free School Meals as a measure of disadvantage, which obscures large differences within the remaining 85% of the population.

The report also examines the performance of the new specialist Maths schools and considers public attitudes towards grammar schools, including exploring why the public are more supportive of grammar schools than educational experts.

Read the full report on the HEPI website, here.

Comments where the poster doesn’t appear to have read or engaged with at least the Executive Summary of the report will be ignored or deleted.

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