National Grammar Schools Association
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Exploding the myths!
Frequently Asked Questions about grammar schools.

1. Grammars get more money.

Schools are funded on a formula basis according to the number of pupils they have. Grammar schools are no better off than other schools because they are selective.
2. Pupils who do not get into grammar schools are labelled as failures.
Not by anyone in the grammar school system! It is only the opponents of selection that use this disparaging term. Children develop at different rates and therefore need different educational opportunities.
3. You can't get into a grammar school if you don't make it at eleven.
All grammars admit pupils into their Sixth Form, although most youngsters prefer to stay in familiar surroundings for their Sixth Form experience.
4. Abolishing grammar schools would bring about more equality of opportunity in education.
Just the opposite in fact would be likely to happen. Existing independent schools would be in even greater demand and new ones would be established to provide a fee-paying grammar school education no longer available free of charge. The gap in educational opportunity would widen, not close.
5. Grammar schools are middle class.
This is most certainly not the case. All grammars have children from the complete range of backgrounds and help families on income support or family credit with costs of trips and uniforms.
6. Grammar schools block opportunities for many.
There are 166 grammar schools in the country, a tiny proportion of the number of secondary schools. Over a third of 18 year-olds now go on to Higher Education from all types of schools and opportunities are now more open than they have ever been.
7. Abolishing the grammar schools won't cost anything.
All re-organisation in education costs money. The government does not intend to pay for re-organisation so money would have to come from local education budgets. Huge amounts of money would be spent on altering structures rather than raising standards.
8. Abolishing grammar schools would end all selection in education.
There has always been selection in our education system, whether by religion, ability to pay or, more recently, by aptitude in the specialist schools - namely Language, Arts, Technology and Sports Colleges.
9. Grammar schools divide families and friends.
Children in the same family often attend different schools for a variety of reasons, not least the presence of single sex schools in an area. Families have much more to join them together than the schools children go to. Certainly many primary friendships come to an end at the time of transfer, but new ones are quickly made in all types of schools.
10. Selection means school choose children.
Most schools choose children. Popular comprehensives choose on the basis of nearness to school. The abolition of grammar schools would result in selection into high performing schools being on the basis of ability to pay, or ownership of high value houses. Able children from poorer backgrounds would be the losers.

National Grammar Schools Association, P.O. Box 7621, Oldbury, Birmingham, B69 3AJ