Selective education guide – Calderdale

BACKGROUND

There are two grammar schools in Calderdale, both located in Halifax.

Check out our map of selective schools in England to find out more about these schools. The map gives the percentage of disadvantaged pupils, the percentage of pupils attending a grammar school who are likely to have come from a fee-paying school, and the relative selectivity of every grammar school in Calderdale. View the map HERE.

THE PROBLEMS

In every area where academic selection still exists there are some common problems. For example,

  • Grammar schools admit fewer disadvantaged pupils than non-selective schools. Grammar schools are also more likely to admit pupils from more advantaged families.

 

  • A significant number of pupils previously educated in fee-paying ‘prep’ schools take up grammar school places.

 

  • Tuition for the 11-plus ‘buys advantage’. Better-off families can afford private coaching while poorer families feel compelled to pay for tuition they can ill afford.

 

  • The 11-plus has been proven to lack accuracy because it takes place while children are still developing academically.

 

  • Research shows the proportion of children with Special Educational Needs (SEN) attending grammar schools is small. For many children with additional learning needs such as dyslexia and attention deficit disorders, the 11-plus test is inaccessible. The same children often perform very well academically outside a test situation.

 

  • Grammar schools change the pupil profile of other schools in the area. If a large number of higher attaining pupils attend grammar schools then surrounding schools find themselves with a pupil population which is skewed, with a disproportionate amount of moderate and lower attaining pupils and pupils with additional learning needs. This impacts subject choice (fewer subjects available than at a grammar school) and teacher recruitment. Non-selective schools in areas with grammar schools cannot be ‘true’ comprehensives and tend to underperform compared to comprehensive schools.

 

  • GCSE results in areas with grammar schools are on a par, or worse, than areas that have only comprehensive schools. Research has shown that children who attend selective schools would be likely to achieve broadly the same results in any comprehensive school.

The percentage of pupils attending grammar schools in Calderdale

Although just 12.6% of all Calderdale pupils attend its two grammar schools in Halifax, there will impact on all Halifax schools.

A social divide in Calderdale secondary schools

In common with all grammar schools, disadvantaged pupils are underrepresented in Calderdale grammar schools. As a result, the area’s non-selective schools educate a far greater proportion of pupils on free school meals. 

Many academics argue that a selective education system risks creating the kind of divisions which go beyond the schools themselves and can affect the wider community more generally.

The 11-plus damages children’s confidence

Many children feel demotivated by a ‘fail’ in the 11-plus. We believe all children should start secondary school feeling positive about their academic ability. The success of non-selective schools in most areas of the country proves that there is no need to divide children by using an out of date and discredited test.

More information

You can read more information about Calderdale grammar schools and the 11-plus test on the Calderdale Council website, as well as by visiting the Crossley Heath and North Halifax Grammar School websites.

Want to end the 11-plus in Calderdale?

Join Comprehensive Future’s campaign to end the 11-plus.

JOIN COMPREHENSIVE FUTURE NOW

To learn about the data sources for our interactive map and selective education guides click here. If you spot any errors in the data for any area, please let us know.