Fewer than a third of voters want more grammar schools

New polling from JL Partners includes this:

Thinking about grammar schools and schools that select pupils by ability, which of the following best reflects your views?

The government should encourage more schools to select by academic ability and build more grammar schools – 30%

The government should retain the existing grammar schools, but should not allow more selective schools or new grammar schools to be built – 21%

The government should stop schools selecting by academic ability and the existing grammar schools should be opened to children of all abilities – 27%

Not sure – 22%

Although talking of more grammar schools has been a favourite topic in internal Conservative Party debates over many years, it’s not where the public is at, nor where expert education opinion is at either.

4 responses to “Fewer than a third of voters want more grammar schools”

  1. Grammar schools were the product of the 1944 Education Act, which was predicated on the principle of selection at age 11.. (long since proved to be that absolute worst age to move children from one school to another). The word there is ‘selection’, in which children would be assessed as to the ‘type’ they fitted into, the thought to be three mind-types, relating to the ‘three R’s’ (reading reckoning and roughting). So councils would provide three types of school, grammar, technical and secondary.. but then they discovered how expensive good education is, and the technical schools needed smaller classes for safety’s sake, plus expensive machinery, so councils only tended to provide one of those and then only for 14+. They became a go-to for anyone who didn’t fit into the other two types and the whole scheme got corrupted.
    Never enough money, and the post-war bulge years led to oversized classes, so the grammar schools atrted expelling any child who didn’t dome up to their standard and the secondary schools had to take them, so the grammars became elitist, if they hadn’t already.
    Comprehensive system was intended to be the solution, having enough pupils to enable streaming and setting meant that schools tended to be large, rather than have proportionately more teachers. Anyway there was(is) a shortage of teachers, because they were never paid enough, which played into the hands of the private schools, who were granted charitable status..
    And wealthy politicians will never understand the ordinary people, and if a country wants to succeed then it needs to invest in ALL our children, not just those from families who happen to have garnered a lot of wealth..

  2. Those the Gods wish to Destroy they first make Mad. The CBI is screaming that a lack of people with the skills necessary to allow the UK to become competitive in an industrial World dominated by computer technology, (the third industrial revolution), is a major cause of our poor performance and low growth. We need more school leavers and graduates with technical skills who can build the companies we need to compete on a world stage. Liz Truss’s solution More Grammar Schools. in the immortal words of Private Frazer, “We’re All Doomed”.

  3. I await the Conservative politician who will state that their vision is to tell the majority of kids at age 11 that they haven’t been selected (in common parlance failed) and consign them to Secondary Modern Schools.

  4. I came from a very working class family (but with aspirational parents) and went to an inner London selective grammar school (that is I not only had to pass the 11+ hurdle but take a school internal exam too). We were well schooled to pass O-level and go on to sixth form and then to University. I did well but fewer than 60 of the 100 starters made it to sixth form and even fewer to University. The system not only wasted talent at 11 but also at 16 and 18. For that reason all my children went to Comprehensive schools. They’ve not become academics like me but are all leading fulfilling adult lives as useful citizens. I couldn’t ask more of them.

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