Grammar school parents in revolt over plans to drop entry marks for disadvantaged pupils

Grammar school parents are in open revolt over plans to drop entry marks for disadvantaged pupils. Over 3,000 people have signed an online petition warning that reducing the pass mark for the Eleven Plus will lead to standards dropping “dramatically”. The Telegraph reports.

The King Edward VI Academy Trust, which runs six grammar schools in Birmingham, plans to introduce new catchment areas from next September that will give priority to disadvantaged pupils who live in those areas, even if they achieve slightly lower entry scores.

Kaja Fawthrop, who wrote the petition, said that parents have raised almost £2,000 for a barrister’s opinion on the legality of the plans. They have also lodged an appeal with the  Office of the Schools Adjudicator.

“We reject proposals to create new catchment areas around each Grammar school and drastically reduce the pass mark causing standards to drop dramatically in the best schools in our City,” the petition says.

Writing on the site change.org, Ms Fawthrop said: “Grammar schools are designed for academically high achieving children. If entrance is decided on by postcode, what is the point of Grammar schools? What is the point of the 11+ test if catchment area is the deciding factor?”

Heath Monk, executive director of King Edward VI Foundation, has previously said: “Grammar schools have got to be more socially inclusive and they have got to do more to reach out to disadvantaged children and that inevitably means some fear of displacement.”

Read more Grammar school parents in revolt over plans to drop entry marks for disadvantaged pupils

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter – Tamsin

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Comments

  1. Anonymous

    I used to live in Birmingham and the whole education system there is a mess. You have schools with very insular groupings of children even at the primary level. All catholic, all Asian, all poor, all wealthy. The grammar schools are basically inhabited by the middle classes in Birmingham, there are only a handful of them and children travel far to get into them currently. If you are wealthy in Birmingham and your child doesn’t get a sufficient score to get in then you will send them to a private school (I have friends in this situation). Truth is if you are poor and do not quite make it in the eleven plus exam then your education is probably over. The state secondary schools available are inevitably poorer because of the system. So if we really believe in equality of opportunity we must support a decision to marginally reduce the acceptance level for disadvantaged children. Just means that some children have not had the advantage of private tutoring. The sharp elbowed need to remember that they are lucky and give those less fortunate a break in life.

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