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Institute of Education Blog


Expert opinion from academics at the UCL Institute of Education


How evidence-based are the Conservative manifesto proposals on grammar schools?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital29 May 2017

Alice Sullivan
The Conservative manifesto confirms Teresa May’s pledge to reintroduce grammar schools, as part of a drive to turn Britain into ‘The World’s Great Meritocracy’. But does this claim stand up to scrutiny?
As has been widely rehearsed in public debate ever since the Conservative government published its schools green paper back in September 2016, the essential reason that grammar schools are such an unlikely tool for promoting social mobility is that working class kids are far less likely than their more privileged peers to attend them. The wider evidence base provides no findings that suggest that selection will help Britain to tackle educational inequality and increase social mobility. Among other sources, a review of the evidence published by Parliament, produced by Parliament’s in-house source of independent analysis, makes this clear.
So, how does the Conservative Manifesto justify the claim that (more…)