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Could more grammar schools mean they're less successful?

07/10/2016 Joanna

The grammar school debate is ongoing, but a study by the Education Policy Institute shows that a surge in pupils attending could lower the high results these schools currently see.

The Department for Education (DfE) has said it wants the introduction of new grammar schools to help education in the local area. However, the research argues that depending on where they are based, the schools might be forced to take more lower ability pupils, which will reduce their potential to achieve the highest grades. In addition, with just lower ability pupils left in nearby schools, they too may suffer. 

The government has analysed the research though, and emphasises that this specific report is focused on the binary system that grammar schools have used in the past, and this is not what it plans to develop.

While there is, as yet, no research that is able to refute the claims of this report, the BBC has reported that the DfE is conducting its own research into the impact that an increased number of grammar school places might have, in addition to running a consultation on the plans, which were announced in October.

In a statement, the DfE said: "Our new approach would ensure any new selective schools prioritise the admission of pupils from lower income households, or support other local pupils in non-selective schools to help raise standards. We are clear that relaxing restrictions on selective education can and should be to the betterment, not at the expense, of other local schools."

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