Grammar pupils progressing faster than their peers in non-selective schools, data shows

The Telegraph is reporting that the latest official data shows that grammar school pupils are progressing faster than pupils in non-selective schools.

Grammar school pupils progress faster and outperform children of similar ability who attend non-selective schools, official data has disclosed for the first time. In a major boost for Theresa May’s plans for a new generation of selective schools, an official analysis of GCSE results has found that children benefit from grammars.

The data also found that children who were previously not high attainers make even more progress in grammar schools than their high performing peers.

Justine Greening, the Education Secretary, said that the figures give the Government “even more reason to make more of these good school places available in more areas”. Ministers will use the analysis to justify Mrs May’s focus on grammar schools, which has been heavily criticised by the Labour Party and some campaigners.

Ms Greening said: “We want to build a country that works for everybody, regardless of their background, and education lies at the heart of that.

“Grammar schools reduce the attainment gap between rich and poor children. Today’s figures give us even more reason to make more of these good school places available in more areas.”

More at: Grammar pupils progressing faster than their peers in non-selective schools, data shows 

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or via Twitter. ~ Meena

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Categories: Data and Secondary.


  1. gov2

    Exciting as this may sound, there seems to be no link to this magical report.  When it becomes available the small print can be checked to see how they managed to produce these claims.

  2. Nairb1

    I wonder why I’m thinking about manipulating data to come up with the required outcome. Surely it can’t be that it’s just an amazing coincidence that these figures appear now.

  3. Nairb1

    If the evidence Greening is referring to is ‘Today’s figures show that the average Progress 8 score for all grammar school pupils is 0.33, compared with -0.01 for comprehensive schools’ as quoted in The Telegraph then we have to hope she is simply trying to pull a fast one, because if she can’t work out why that fails to prove grammar schools do better then she isn’t fit to be SoS.

  4. Chris1434

    Well, Buckinghamshire is fully selective, and has for many years had the biggest achievement gap in the country. This issue is the county priority to deal with. So suggesting that grammar schools close the achievement gap is patently false. A lie in fact.
    In addition, Greening does not mention the impact on those two thirds of pupils who don’t get to grammar school, and who are very negatively impacted.
    Overall, the selection going on here is selection of data to support a flawed premise.

  5. ‘Progress scores for grammar schools are likely to be overstated due to unreliable SATs scores, amid fears they could be used to make a case for more selection.’ Education Datalab, reported in Schools Week, September 2016.
    And it came to pass…

  6. Commenting on the 2015 Progress 8 results, Schools Week wrote, ‘Rob Coe, director of Durham University’s centre for evaluation and monitoring, which produces 11-plus tests, …said the findings showed that Progress 8 results as part of the grammar debate must be interpreted “with caution”.’
    “There is a bias – grammar schools have the decks stacked in their favour.”

    No such caution has been shown by the Telegraph in trumpeting the 2016 findings.  But, as Schools Week noted in September, the difference between the progress made by grammar pupils and ones in comprehensive school amounted to ‘a third of a grade higher across eight GCSEs.’
    Wow!   And not all pupils in comps take 8 GCSEs, of course, thereby depressing the score.

  7. @gov2  The Telegraph rarely give links.  It’s here:
    The small print re Progress 8:
    of the difference in attainment can be explained by the prior attainment intake
    of each school type. 88.8% of pupils at the end of key stage 4 at selective
    schools had prior attainment above the expected level at the end of primary
    school, compared to 29.2% in comprehensive schools, and 20.6% in modern
    schools. Modern schools also had 19.5% of pupils below the expected level,
    compared to 17.5% in comprehensive schools, and 0.0%14 at selective schools).’
    It goes on to confirm that  ‘Pupils with high prior attainment (above the expected level)
    achieved higher results at selective schools than at comprehensive or modern
    schools.’  This shows high ability pupils do indeed perform better at selective schools.  But, as noted above, this equals just one-third of a GCSE grade.  The downside of this higher performance of high ability pupils in grammars is the lower performance of such pupils at secondary moderns.

  8. regcarter1

    SchoolsImprove Pupils progress fast when they have parents supporting teachers no matter what “type of school ” the children attend

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