Kent launches bid to get more children from poorer backgrounds in to grammar schools

The BBC is reporting that a series of recommendations have been announced in a bid to get more children from poorer backgrounds in to Kent grammar schools.

A Kent County Council select committee said it wanted to see greater co-ordination between primaries and grammars to identify “bright children”…

However, the committee said in its report it could not “impose” measures.

The 16 recommendations in the report range from urging grammar schools to use multiple uniform suppliers to keep costs down, to offering help with transport costs.

The report said children from poorer backgrounds need improved support during entrance tests and during the appeals process.

Matthew Bartlett, who is the headteacher of Dover Grammar School for Girls, said: “Grammar school heads will not rest until there is absolute parity of opportunity for all young people regardless of their social and economic background.”

More at: Kent grammar schools social mobility recommendations

What do you think? Is this an achievable goal? Let us know your thoughts in the comments or via Twitter…

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Categories: Local authorities and Policy.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove This story is the most obvious symptom of govt edu rhetoric of “shopping around” which has been so damaging in my view

  2. PrincesBold

    SchoolsImprove Why? What do they have that makes them better? Traditionally what they don’t have is children from poorer backgrounds!

  3. AlfredoNokez1

    SchoolsImprove Grammar school HT talking about parity of opportunity & advocating selection at 11. Selection works against poorer kids!

  4. paulbevis56

    Grammar schools damage equality of opportunity, through the use of selection tests that have poor reliability and validity, and the negative impact of selection on those that ‘fail’ and by skewing the surrounding educational community.

  5. StephenMcChrystal

    As a year 6 teacher in Tunbridge Wells, it always seemed to me that the Grammar schools were there because middle-class parents didn’t want their children being distracted by the lower elements of society. I say seemed because how could I possibly be correct? Of the “poorer” children who crossed the magic rubicon, some were successful and some weren’t. The failure stigma was heart-breaking to see.

  6. Britinfloridaus

    Name one unpopular secondary school in Tinbridge Wells. There are none. All secondary schools in Tunbridge Wells both grammar and comprehensives are popular well run successful schools perhaps you should take some credit for that.

  7. StephenMcChrystal

    Britinfloridaus  A lot of my time in T.Wells was before the Skinners Kent Acadamy when it was under another name and seen as the educational dumping ground for those families lacking the motivation or means to get their children into the “better schools”. Thankfully the academy has shown a sharp increase in improvement in terms of management practices and GCSE results. Thank-you for the credit; I am very proud of the 17 years I spent teaching there. Maybe the grammar schools have been a good incentive for the others to get their act together.Then again, you could claim that the comprehensive ideal would have been the best solution if it was actually thought through properly and given appropriate financial backing. Best wishes.

  8. gov2

    Britinfloridaus  Presumably not that popular with the parents who want their children kept away from the lower orders otherwise why choose to keep away from them.

  9. Busy Mum

    Used to have a good way of identifying ‘bright’ children – it was called the 11+ and all children took it, regardless of background.

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