Grammar Schools – Some Evidence

In Uncategorized by Alex Quigley4 Comments

Image via Edudatalab: Grammar School Briefing – September 2016

This week I have undertaken the government consultation, ‘Schools That Work for Everyone’. Now, if you know even a smidgen about the Green Paper, then you know that the title is deeply ironic. Grammar Schools in particular don’t work for everyone – that is kind of the point. My particular concern is that if we let the government usher in a new dawn of grammar schools and increased selection, including faith schools, then we will do tremendous damage to our school system.

You may think that the government aren’t going to listen; that it is a sham consultation or worse. I can’t put my hand on heart and so that isn’t true, I simply don’t know, but we should still exercise our democratic right to state our views. I’m not going to lie: it is long and laborious and the questions are heavily biased and exasperating for the most part. Still, you may want to provide a sequence of short answers for many questions.

You can undertake the consultation here and I urge you to do so:


Some Evidence on Grammar Schools

Now, the point of this short blog is provide you with evidence on grammar schools, should you so need it. It might save you a few minutes and make it as little easier to finish the consultation. So here goes:

Do remember to spend the time to give your views of the Green Paper and kick this grammar school policy into the deep, green grass!




  1. Hi Alex,
    I found this article interesting. I teach in a grammar school and I am in agreement – we don’t need any more! However, I would like to invite you to visit my grammar school; it bucks the trend in many cases, with the majority of students from working class families. If you would like to visit, feel free to email me.

    1. Author

      Hi Gaurav,

      Thanks for replying. I do recognise that we are in danger of generalizing greatly when we label any school type. We also use statistics that don’t represent individual schools fairly. I am interested that you don’t think we need more and yet your school is better balanced in terms of intake. In all honesty, I have a lot of time out of school planned visiting schools in our RISE project and with our Research School work, but I do appreciate the invite. Although it may come across as the opposite, I am not decrying teachers and school leaders in existing grammar schools – of course, they are in it to help children – it is just that I think it isn’t the model we should use nationally for the reasons I explain.

      Best wishes,


      1. Thanks Alex for your reply. You don’t appear to decry teachers and leaders of grammar schools but more so the ones who are in charge of education and are, quite frankly, not in the best position to make decisions that damage education as a whole.

        Many thanks,

  2. This following poem of mine may be relevant. I hope the layout comes out as intended in this format.


    The test glared, strict as a smack.
    The classroom smelt of rain-soaked macs.

    A man, aged 27 was married to a woman, 24.
    He died at 81, the wife at 91.
    For what fraction of her life was she a widow?

    Each page a new befuddlement.
    Numbers. Riddles. Words.

    They marked her Borderline, then Failed.

    A timid girl. A single day. A life ago.

    Put up your hand if you can calculate the cost
    of all she could have learned

    and would have loved
    but lost.

    Annie Fisher

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