We investigate how parents’ preferences, school selectiveness and admissions policy determine who gets to go to which schools

Social and ethnic inequalities in choice available and choices made at age 16

This morning the Social Mobility Commission published our research examining the choice of courses and institution made by students at age 16. We could see there were differences in the choices made by social background, ethnicity and gender of the student and wanted to measure the extent to which these arose through differences in: GCSE [...]

By | December 5th, 2016|Admissions, Post-16 provision, Pupil demographics, Reports|

Understanding grammar schools

Since the government’s announcement that it wants to see the return of more widespread selectivity to England’s education system we have written quite extensively about grammar schools and the impact of selectivity. In this post, however, we’re going to step back a little and offer a more descriptive overview of the existing network of selective [...]

By | December 1st, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Apples to apples: are grammar schools really as effective as they seem?

This post was updated at 8.30 AM on 22 November. An earlier draft of the piece had originally been posted in error. What is the reasoning behind the government’s proposal for more selective schools: greater choice or better schools? Numerous studies have demonstrated that both have flawed foundations, including from the Education Policy Institute [PDF] and ourselves [PDF], [...]

Ethnic minority groups are great at passing the 11-plus

There are striking differences in the propensity of different ethnic groups to gain access to grammar schools. If we look at high achieving eleven-year-olds in the four fully selective local authorities of Kent, Medway, Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire, just 29 per cent of the white British pupils who achieved a fine grade score of 5.0 on [...]

By | November 7th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

When is a comprehensive school actually a secondary modern?

The National Association of Secondary Moderns might soon be growing its membership. By how much? It is hard to say, not least because not all non-grammar schools in selective areas choose to call themselves secondary moderns (just 117 do). Also, there are schools outside selective areas that are heavily affected by the presence of a [...]

By | November 2nd, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

How many poor children do we want to go to grammar school?

The question of who will get in lies at the heart of the debate about the new generation of grammar schools that the government has proposed. As we, and plenty of others, have pointed out, children eligible for free school meals (FSM) - a commonly-used proxy for disadvantage - are disproportionately unlikely to get into [...]

By | September 30th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Progress 8 is too favourable to grammar schools and understates secondary modern achievement

Progress 8 is the new measure by which secondary schools will be judged. It works by comparing each child’s achievement in eight subjects at GCSE with the average GCSE results for other children who got the same results in exams taken at age 11. The Department for Education designed it to incentivise schools to provide a [...]

By | September 16th, 2016|Admissions|

Grammar schools: four key research points

1. Academic selection creates winners and losers Children who attend grammar schools make more progress than they otherwise would, while children who attend non-selective schools in selective areas (secondary moderns) make less progress than they otherwise would. In any selective area, a majority of children will attend non-selective schools – the gains of those who [...]

By | September 14th, 2016|Admissions|