Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The unfairness of schooling

England's grammar schools are "ghettos for the advantaged", doing little to alleviate poverty.

Research showed just 2% of pupils in grammars received free school meals, compared with 13% nationally. And in some grammars more than one third of pupils had come from fee-paying schools .

Professor Jesson said: "Far from providing 'ladders of opportunity' for pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, grammar schools are more like 'ghettos of the advantaged'.
Grammar schools do not offer a ladder of opportunity to any but a very small number of disadvantaged pupils. In fact, their recruitment policies tend to favour pupils from more prosperous communities where eligibility for free school meals and other measures of deprivation are at very low levels. Parents who can afford to send their children to private fee-paying schools have a distinct advantage in securing places at local grammar schools over pupils from state junior schools who are similarly able."

Other research on grammar schools from Northern Ireland concluded "that the effect of attending grammar school is similar for those from higher and lower income groups". But access to grammar schools was very unequal .

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