Should Grammar Schools be there?

If you are based in the UK, you must be aware of what grammar schools are. The concept of grammar schools is primarily associated with the United Kingdom. These schools are known for selecting their students with the help of an examination – conducted when these students are 11 years of age. If the students pass out this particular examination they can be a part of the local grammar school. If not, they can join the secondary modern school.

A few facts about grammar schools: What you should find out

There are around 163 grammar schools in England and 69 in Northern Ireland. Now, let us tell you that though the concept of grammar schools has actually existed since centuries back- it is not exactly free from controversies. We will explore that and a lot more as we go through this post. Read on.

If one goes through the Education Act 1944, one will be able to find out that the grammar schools had existed back then as well. Earlier, secondary education was categorized into two basic types. The grammar schools made for one of those types. They focused on the academic capabilities of pupils assuming that those passing out from these schools will go on to pursue higher education. The secondary modern schools, on the other hand, were meant for those who wished to pursue trade after graduating from high school.

The “grammar school controversy”: What exactly you should know

Thus, this particular system effectively segregated pupils into two categories – the ones who were interested and capable of bagging university jobs and the ones who were apparently more suitable for the “less talked-about jobs”. And, this is something which gave birth to controversies. Labour politicians in the 1950s and 60s claimed that this particular education system was instrumental in reinforcing class system. It was in the year 1965 that the government pressed for the abolition of this system.

Notably, grammar schools are known for selecting students on the basis of the following pointers:

  • Verbal reasoning
  • Numerical reasoning
  • English comprehension, grammar, punctuation
  • Non verbal reasoning
  • Creative writing

It has also been argued that those who have been intensely tutored are bound to perform better than the ones who have not had the opportunity to get proper exposure to such guidance.

Do you think the arguments against the concept are justified? Do you think grammar schools should be there?

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