The Government’s move to create more grammar and faith schools is truly unbelievable. It is not just that this goes against the stated intention to reduce inequalities, but all the evidence shows that by separating the ‘best’, we reduce the beneficial effect that these students have on the whole system.
The small number of additional grammar school places the move is intended to create will have too small effect on the economy as a whole to offset the negative effects of division – even if those are selected do better.
Grammar schools appear to do better because they are selective and wealthy parents push forward with extra tuition. Private schools are also selective but they have an added advantage of spending very much more on the education of each child.
In my area, we have a grammar school and yes the school’s results are very good, but when compared with the level of the students at entry, these results are only average. If the selected students were in the comprehensive system they would do just as well.
Removing the best reduces the expectations of teachers and pupils left behind, and can only increase inequality. To do better as a country, we need to educate everyone and the biggest gains are not to be made by extra investment in those perceived to be the best, but on those whose potential is far from being realised.
More faith schools will extend segregation in our communities when it’s vital that we educate our communities together from an early age. In the area where I live, there are many schools, including some church schools, where the communities in primary and secondary just do not mix. We need to wind this situation backwards and educate our communities together and NOT promote division and segregation.