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Social Mobility and HE: Are grammar schools the answer?

Social mobility within universities has been a major source of debate for some time, with many arguing that minority groups are underrepresented and are not provided with equal opportunities. Grammar schools have been credited with helping those groups achieve greater success, as data shows that the majority of MBE students at top universities are from selective areas. However, many others argue that the negatives outweigh the benefits.


Others would argue that the process of entering grammar school is selective and this is followed by a university that is also selective, often skirting responsibilities concerning diversity and balanced representation. Also, those pupils that fail to pass their 11+ exams find themselves at a major disadvantage and the benefits of attending a grammar school quickly begin to disappear. As a result, some academics are arguing that grammar schools can be a hindrance to social mobility.


This report considers the argument from both sides of the fence, made up of a collection of responses to an earlier paper that called The Impact of Selective Secondary Education on Progression to Higher Education. This paper raised so many questions among academics, that these five responses were offered by experts keen to keep the debate going.


The resource will be useful to anyone working in Higher Education, policy-making or student support.



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