Selective education guide – Lancashire

BACKGROUND

There are four grammar schools in Lancashire. The schools are located in Clitheroe, Lancaster and Rossendale.

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 ‘prep’ school, and the relative selectivity of every grammar school in Lancashire. 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 may feel compelled to pay for tuition they can ill afford.

 

  • Sitting the 11-plus is stressful and can damage a child’s confidence.

 

  • 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 on 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 with, or worse, than areas that have only comprehensive schools. Research has shown that children who attend selective schools would achieve broadly the same results if they attended a non-selective school.

The percentage of pupils attending grammar schools in Lancashire

Just 5% of pupils in Lancashire attend a grammar school. Although this is a relatively small proportion of pupils, there will be an impact on the pupil population of nearby non-selective schools.

A social divide in Lancashire secondary schools

In common with all grammar schools, disadvantaged pupils are underrepresented in Lancashire grammar schools. As a result, the county’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 outdated and discredited test.

There is no consistent ‘grammar school standard’ in Lancashire grammar schools

Grammar schools in Lancashire have widely differing pass rates. A child who passes an 11-plus for one grammar school might well fail the test for another school. This proves that there is no ‘grammar school’ standard. Grammar schools in Lancashire adjust their pass rates to suit their needs.

More information

If you want more information about Lancashire grammar schools, including 11-plus test dates, you should visit the individual school’s websites.

Want to end the 11-plus in Lancashire?

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.