National Grammar Schools Association
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Grammar schools serve their pupils best

17th December 2003

The Daily Telegraph

Grammar schools have topped a new ‘value-added’ league table designed to be fairer to schools with less able pupils.

They are the most effective at raising standards in the first three years of secondary education even when the selective nature of their intakes is taken into account...

Top for value added is Skegness Grammar School in Lincolnshire where the progress measure was 104.2, well above the average of about 100...

Andrew Rigby, the head of Skegness Grammar, a mixed-sex school, said his school had also come top in Lincolnshire for the progress pupils made last year between 14 and 16.

‘ This value added table was supposed to push the grammar schools off the top of the league tables, but it hasn’t happened’, he added.

‘ We are absolutely delighted because it shows that grammar schools work. We are not in a leafy, middle-class area by any means and people from very humble backgrounds are going on to fine universities. I put it down to the ethos, which is one of a traditional grammar school where students are expected to work hard and be disciplined, smartly dressed and courteous.’

[Please note these ‘value-added’ results deserve special credit, because the higher the achievement of pupils at the age of 11, the more difficult it becomes to ‘add value’ in national tests and exams at 14 and 16. The government’s national tests and its value-added calculations are geared so that the lower the starting-base, the easier it becomes for schools to ‘add value’ at the later stages.]

Relevant Links:
But please see ‘Value Added and the Grammar Schools’’ for an explanation of how the value-added calculations are designed to boost lower achieving schools and disadvantage grammar schools.