The BBC is reporting that top scientists have claimed that more grammar schools in England will not boost disadvantaged pupils’ grades.
Overall, the poorest pupils do worse in science and maths subjects in areas with selective schools, suggests research for the Royal Society, the UK’s independent scientific academy.
“Social mobility is a complex issue,” said Prof Tom McLeish, chairman of the Royal Society’s Education Committee.
“We support the government’s commitment to ensuring all students fulfil their potential, regardless of their background.
“However, we are concerned that the approach to selective education outlined in the green paper may only support the small number of high ability disadvantaged pupils who do attend selective schools, at the cost of disadvantaged pupils who do not.”
Researchers from the Education Policy Institute, commissioned by the Royal Society, looked at the impact of selective education on the attainment of the most disadvantaged young people – those on free school meals – in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.
The researchers found free school meals pupils performed less well in GCSE maths in areas where there were selective schools.
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