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Grammar schools in England: a new analysis of social segregation and academic outcomes

Gorard, S.A.C.; Siddiqui, N.

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The UK government is planning to increase the number of pupils attending state-funded selective grammar schools, claiming that this will assist overall standards, reduce the poverty attainment gap and so aid social mobility. Using the full 2015 cohort of pupils in England, this article shows how the pupils attending grammar schools are stratified in terms of chronic poverty, ethnicity, language, special educational needs and even precise age within their year group. This kind of clustering of relative advantage is potentially dangerous for society. The article derives measures of chronic poverty and local socio-economic status segregation between schools, and uses these to show that the results from grammar schools are no better than expected, once these differences are accounted for. There is no evidence base for a policy of increasing selection, and so there are implications for early selection policies worldwide. The UK government should consider phasing the existing selective schools out.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 29, 2018
Online Publication Date Mar 26, 2018
Publication Date Oct 3, 2018
Deposit Date Feb 7, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 8, 2018
Journal British Journal of Sociology of Education
Print ISSN 0142-5692
Electronic ISSN 1465-3346
Publisher Taylor and Francis Group
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 39
Issue 7
Pages 909-924
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (688 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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