One of the latest headlines to hit the world of primary and secondary education is the effort by the government to invest in expanding grammar schools.
The need was identified by the education secretary and grammar schools to allow for an increased intake of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. The justification was that current travel arrangements and ‘free meal’ arrangement at grammar schools in comparison to state secondary schools is unfavourable and unaffordable for some parents. Particular emphasis will be placed on expanding in areas, where grammar schools or high quality education is currently not present to the same extent as in other areas. This will be music to the parents’ ears as they are more likely to be assured that their child can access the level of education they deserve independent of their financial background.
The Grammar School Heads Association’s chief executive, Jim Skinner, stated the following:
“We are very pleased that, like other good and outstanding schools, selective schools now have access to a fund to allow them to expand their premises. This is particularly important at a time when there are increasing numbers of pupils reaching secondary age and such high demand from parents for selective school places.”
Whilst this may also mean that the number of spaces in some competitive schools will increase, the requirement to pass 11+ examinations will still exist. Given that the expansion program will take time and is localised in selected areas, some areas in England may hardly see a difference because there is already a high level of presence of grammar schools. To be precise, primary school children will still be required to practice, prepare and pass the 11+ examinations to ensure that they work with the correct attitude towards success from an early age.