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Inequality in access to grammar schools

Matt Dickson () and Lindsey Macmillan ()

No 3, CEPEO Briefing Note Series from UCL Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities

Abstract: Grammar schools are secondary schools that select pupils based on their performance on a test at age 11 - those pupils above a certain threshold attend state-funded grammar schools, while those below the threshold attend state-funded comprehensive or secondary modern schools depending on the area (with the other alternatives being religious or private schools). Inequalities exist in who attains places at grammar schools by socio-economic status, with more disadvantaged children far less likely to attend a grammar school that their more advantaged peers. This is true even when comparing those with similar levels of academic achievement. Numerous factors contribute to this inequality in access, many of which will be exacerbated during the current COVID-19 pandemic. This briefing note summarises the empirical evidence on socio-economic inequalities in who goes to grammar schools, the drivers behind these, and some implications, including the likely impact of the current school closures on inequality in access, if the usual selection procedure (the `11 plus' exam) continues to be used this year.

Keywords: Inequality; Selective Schooling; Grammar schools. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I20 I21 I24 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 3 pages
Date: 2020-04, Revised 2020-04
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-gen, nep-ore and nep-ure
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Downloads: (external link) First version, 2020 (application/pdf)

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