Grammar School Facts
Grammar schools have been present in the UK since the 6th Century, although they were fairly different back then! It was 1944 when the modern era of grammar schools was heralded by the introduction of the Education Act. The Education Act brought about the tripartite system, where grammar schools were the pinnacle for those who were academically gifted. Back then, the majority of local authorities had pupils take an 11+ exam. They were then streamed by their academic ability. Whilst the 11+ is no longer mandatory, some areas still have this system. However, the West Midlands is an area where parents must put their child forward for the exam (see the registration information for 2019 entry here). So what else do you need to know about Grammar School? Here are the Smart 11+ Tuition key grammar school facts…
There are now only 163 grammar schools left in the UK, with approximately 163,000 pupils on their register. This works out to approximately 5% of the secondary school population. At one time there were over 1,200 state-maintained grammar schools. This reduction has meant that competition for places has never been tougher. However, that does mean that when children attend grammar school, they are surrounded by the best and brightest. This could be why grammar schools have such a good rate at which they send children to Oxbridge and redbrick universities.
In Birmingham and Sutton Coldfield there are currently eight grammar schools, as well as those slightly further afield in Warwickshire and Rugby. Keep an eye out for our full guide, for more information on local grammar schools.
Most Grammar Schools Are Single Sex
The jury is out on whether co-education or single-sex education is best for children, with an array of studies producing different results. For some parents though, this is a consideration. In your child’s upbringing, religious cultural or personal beliefs will be important. If you think that your child would benefit from being educated in a single-sex environment, then the 11+ exam may be one way to guarantee it. King Edward’s Five Ways are the only co-education school in the West Midlands.
Exam Pass Rates Are Unparalleled
As mentioned above, grammar schools send a lot of students to very good universities. However, their general GCSE pass rate for all students is miles ahead of state comprehensive schools. Five GCSEs at A*-C is set as the benchmark against which schools are judged. The average rate for pupils at state-funded comprehensive schools is 58.7% in 2014/15. That rate at grammar schools? A staggering 96.7%. As it is selective at its entrance, it could be said that grammar school should result in higher attainment, but a near 40% swing is probably beyond the expectation of many.
Grammar Schools Are Outstanding
One of the most startling grammar school facts is that 80% of grammar schools are rated outstanding, compared with 20% of non-selective schools. That’s quite a difference! During their teenage years, children are naturally impressionable. Being in an outstanding environment will make such a difference to their aspirations and could be the catalyst they need to far surpass their potential, compared with attending a non-selective school.
Also, 99% of grammar schools are rated in good or outstanding, compared with 80% of non-selective schools. This shows how much effort is put into ensuring all children who attend these schools receive the best education.