Will increasing selection improve social mobility?

11 August 2016

There are 164 grammar schools in England (2011-12), educating 161,000 students. About 4% of all Year 7 pupils attend grammar schools nationally, but this rises to more than 25% in selective authorities, particularly Buckinghamshire, Kent, Slough and Trafford.

Grammar schools do a good job for the young people they educate, but there is no international evidence that increasing selection will result in higher standards. In addition, there is no mandate in the Conservative Party manifesto to reintroduce grammar schools or introduce more selection into our education system.

The education system that existed when grammar schools were introduced across England is wholly different from that which exists today. The education landscape has changed fundamentally. More than three-quarters of state secondary schools are rated outstanding or good by Ofsted, helping all their pupils to make progress, whatever their starting point.

The most important challenge we face now is to work together to ensure the education system supports all young people to achieve.