https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2016/12/12/education-in-the-media-12-december-2016/

Education in the media: 12 December 2016

Today’s news review looks at coverage of an Education Policy Institute report on grammar schools.

EPI report on grammar schools

Today, Monday 12 December, the Education Policy Institute (EPI) published a report on grammar schools. The report speculates where new selective schools could open, based on the EPI’s interpretation of our proposals, and what effect a quota system for children from disadvantaged backgrounds could have.

The EPI speculates that only six areas would be suitable for new selective school places. The EPI also claims that selective schools will have little benefit for disadvantaged children.

The report has been covered in the Guardian, the Mirror, the Times and the i.

The EPI’s claims are based on assumptions and fail to take into account a number of important factors – most crucially that we have conducted a consultation to help us make sure that the introduction of new selective school places will benefit children from all backgrounds. It also makes assumptions as to what criteria applications to open new selective schools will have to meet before they’ve been defined.

The EPI relies on YouGov data in order to establish which areas are in favour of having new grammar schools. The YouGov survey, however, included two levels of favourability towards grammar schools: ‘strongly in favour’ and ‘slightly in favour’. The report dismisses the latter category. If you take into account those who are slightly in favour of grammar schools the number of LAs that would be eligible for grammar schools increases significantly.

A DfE spokesperson said:

This report is highly speculative. We held a consultation to help us establish how we can create more good school places for children of all backgrounds by removing the ban on grammar schools and this report is a crude attempt to second guess what that consultation will conclude.

 

Independent organisations have recognised the transformative impact grammar schools can have on the lives of disadvantaged young people. Our consultation closes on 12 December and we look forward to considering all the responses.

The Schools that Work for Everyone Consultation closes at 11.45pm today.