MPs are not convinced that grammars can really boost social mobility [Image: Getty Images].

A spokesperson for the Education Department said grammar schools have a “track record of closing the attainment gap to almost zero between children on free school meals and their better off classmates”, and that “99 per cent of grammar schools are rated good or outstanding”. But that’s not tackling the issue, is it?

The question isn’t about how well grammar schools teach pupils once they have been selected – it’s about how grammar schools select their pupils in the first place.

The tests that grammars use to determine who should become pupils unfairly favour those who can afford private coaching, according to the Commons’ Education select committee.

Perhaps the Department for Education should address that, instead of pontificating on unrelated matters.

The government has failed to make a convincing case for opening a new wave of grammar schools in England, say MPs.

The education select committee has cast doubt on claims that they can help social mobility.

MPs said there had been no convincing evidence that a test could be devised which would not favour those who could afford private coaching.

As such they argued that such tests should not be the only criteria for entry.

The MPs also raised concerns about how an expansion of grammars would affect other non-selective schools, in terms of funding and the supply of teachers.

The committee called on the government to carry out an assessment of the potential impact on the wider school system.

Source: Grammars ‘unnecessary distraction’, say MPs – BBC News

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