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

There is not yet a proven route to help disadvantaged pupils into grammar schools

Sections of the Tory party seem determined to open new grammar schools, or at least to expand provision at existing grammar schools. One condition of grammar expansion is likely to be that they make a greater effort to ensure that children from low income families can secure places. A minority of the existing 163 grammar [...]

By | September 8th, 2016|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

At what age should we segregate our children?

Academic selection into separate schools tends to polarise commentators into those that think it is acceptable and those who think it is wrong. And yet most people agree that selection is acceptable at 18 and wrong at age 4. So the point of contention is surely what the right age to allow academic selection is. [...]

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

Grammar schools contaminate comprehensive schooling areas

One of the reasons that decisions to open new selective schools should not be devolved to local decision-makers is that it affects pupils and schools in other local authorities. This is because families are able to seek a school for their child in a different local authority to the one they live in, thanks to [...]

By | August 11th, 2016|Admissions|

Inequalities in access to teachers in selective schooling areas

We recently published a report with the Social Market Foundation showing that schools serving more disadvantaged communities appeared to have greater difficulties in recruiting suitably qualified teachers. Ofsted contacted us to ask whether these inequalities were more or less pronounced in areas with selective secondary schooling because this has been an area of inquiry for them. [...]

By | June 22nd, 2016|Admissions, Teacher careers|

Caught out: Primary schools, catchment areas and social selection

This morning, the Sutton Trust published our research into primary school admissions and social selection. For many the findings come as no surprise: there are thousands of highly socially selective primary schools that have intakes that are considerably more affluent than the neighbourhoods from which they recruit. They are more likely to be located in [...]

By | April 15th, 2016|Admissions, Reports|

Does ability-based selection have to increase inequalities in education?

The decision to allow a new grammar school to open in Kent drew a lot of media attention recently. With the exception of grammar schools, state schools in England are required to admit children irrespective of their ability. A number of developed countries do have school systems, however, which select children into different-ability schools at [...]

By | November 19th, 2015|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

So who will get to go to a grammar school if the Sevenoaks annexe opens?

The arguments for and against grammar schools are well rehearsed. Grammar schools provide a good education for those who get to attend - I think the best guess in the literature is that they experience gains in the order of 1 grade in 4 of their best 8 GCSE exams. This isn’t a huge impact, [...]

By | October 15th, 2015|Admissions, Pupil demographics|

Do grammar schools boost the performance of Primary Schools?

Over the weekend the Daily Mail reported on plans to open the first new Grammar School in 50 years. The arguments for and against Grammar Schools as agents of educational improvement and social mobility will doubtless be rehearsed with even greater vigour in the coming months. In this blog we look at whether private tuition [...]

By | August 10th, 2015|Admissions, Exams and assessment|

The ‘lucky’ children who just get into grammar schools don’t appear to achieve more than their primary school contemporaries who just miss out

It is actually quite hard to say anything about the causal impact of grammar schools. There is no such thing as selective and non-selective areas: 1 in 5 grammar school students cross over a local authority border on the way to school. And perhaps as many as 1 in 5 grammar school students were not in [...]

By | March 5th, 2015|Admissions|