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Parents and teachers have criticised the school for behaving like ‘an exam factory’ [Image: David Jones/PA].

Is this how grammar schools achieve their elite status?

Around 16 pupils at St Olave’s Grammar School in Orpington have been slung out on their ear because they didn’t make the grade in AS and equivalent internal exams before entering their final A-level year – the top grade, that is.

This brings a new dimension to the “social mobility” argument about grammar schools: In this situation, the pupil’s background doesn’t matter at all – their only purpose is to present an impression that the school offers the highest-quality education and creates the best-qualified alumni, even when it doesn’t.

Doesn’t that make this organisation a fraud?

And what about the students who have been penalised? Their entire careers are in jeopardy because of this late-stage betrayal by the school they thought they could trust to guide them onto the next level of their lives.

Regardless of their background, their progress into the higher echelons of UK society has ground to an unceremonious halt.

Is it really because they aren’t good enough? Or is it because their teachers can’t be bothered to do the extra work?

It’s easier to just dump the chumps, after all – right?

Then the school maintains an unfairly-earned high status for which the staff haven’t had to work.

Is that what is happening here?

If so, Theresa May should kiss her plan for more grammar schools goodbye – forever.

One of the country’s leading grammar schools has been accused of acting unlawfully by throwing out sixth-form students who failed to get top grades in AS and equivalent internal exams ahead of their final A-level year.

About 16 pupils at St Olave’s grammar school in Orpington, in the London borough of Bromley, were told their places for year 13 – the last year of school – had been withdrawn after they failed to get the required three Bs. One father accused the school of dumping his son like “old garbage”.

Parents and teachers have criticised the school for behaving like “an exam factory”, focusing purely on results and school league table success at the expense of students’ education and welfare.

Days before the start of a new term, those students who have lost their places are reluctantly looking at alternative schools or colleges at which they can complete their A-levels in order to go on to university or pursue a career. All are devastated at losing their friendship group, and many are struggling to find schools that offer the same examining board.

Education experts say a number of other schools – including other high-achieving grammars – are employing similar tactics to ensure the best possible results, but it is thought to be the first time the issue been challenged in court.

Source: Grammar school ‘unlawfully threw out’ students who failed to get top grades | Education | The Guardian


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