The link between attainment gaps and segregated schools

Professor Stephen Gorard has written about the link between social segregation within schools and poor results for disadvantaged pupils. Gorard’s research shows that the attainment gap is smaller in areas with socially mixed schools. However, in selective areas it’s well known that grammar schools cluster wealthy pupils together while in non-selective schools poorer pupils are clustered together. Gorard says, “There is an unnecessarily wide variety of different types of school in England. Grammar schools select pupils by ability – which is linked to social background. Faith schools select by religion, which is linked to ethnicity. There are also special, free, foundation, specialist, and community schools, plus academies and university technical colleges. Each type can end up with somewhat different pupil intakes, so driving segregation. All these schools could be gradually phased into a national system of similar all-ability local schools.”

Read more HERE.

How CF uses Freedom of Information to further our campaign

Joanne Bartley, CF’s Campaign Support Officer, spoke to the WhatDoTheyKnow team about how Freedom of Information laws help expose inequality in access to grammar schools. One key detail from a FOI request helped to expose a prep school that was using false advertising about its 11-plus pass rates!

Read more HERE.

Secrecy over Truss’s grammar school plans
Liz Truss planned to create a whole new wave of grammar schools, but when a Kent journalist used Freedom of Information rules to find out about these long-abandoned plans he was told that no information could be released.  Jo Bartley of CF said, “It’s disappointing that the DfE won’t share information on the decision making around new grammar schools. The public deserves the right to know what is going on with school policy, and this policy is a controversial one that needs full transparency.

Read more HERE.

No new grammar schools – for now

Pro-selection MPs often use written parliamentary questions to try to make the case for more grammar schools. Andrew Rosindell, the Conservative MP for Romford asked the Secretary of State for Education, ‘whether she is taking steps to promote the establishment of new grammar schools in areas where there is significant demand.’ Nick Gibb, the Schools Minister, replied and gave an unequivocal answer. “The Government has no plans to open more grammar schools. The Department’s priority is to concentrate on ensuring that as many pupils as possible, whatever their ability, have access to an outstanding education. Setting and streaming of pupils is common practice in secondary schools and enables teachers to tailor lessons to suit pupils of similar abilities and ensures that the highest ability pupils are offered additional stretch.” He went on to explain that the impressive Progress 8 score for grammar schools, “does not take account of the differences in pupil abilities or characteristics, for example free school meal eligibility, between selective and non-selective schools.”

The reply can be read in full HERE.

SATs stress is real, but what about the 11-plus?

The anxiety caused by primary school SATs tests has been in the news, but in selective areas children have SATs and the 11-plus too. In selective areas children often face CATs tests in year 5 to guide parents whether a child should sit the 11-plus, along with months of tuition, and often a mock 11+ exam… and then in year 6 when children are 10 or 11 they will sit BOTH the 11+ and SATs tests! Many children will face four serious exams while they’re still at primary school.

Read more about SATs HERE

Selective education means further to travel to school

Research from the Department for Transport shows that school run driving rates increase the further pupils live from school. This means schools with pupils living greater distances from school, such as at grammar schools, will likely have the highest driving rates. Long commutes to school are bad for the environment and impact children’s wellbeing. In some selective areas, such as Bucks more than a quarter of grammar school pupils travel from outside the area.
Read more on Twitter from @NoCarSchoolRun HERE.

The mental health and wellbeing impact of the 11-plus
Comprehensive Future feel there is limited peer reviewed research into the psychological impact of the 11-plus test, but we have gathered together all the evidence we can find. It is clear that this test causes a great deal of stress and confusion to children, and may well impact their view of education and ambitions for the future.

Read the evidence HERE.

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