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11plus Exams and Grammar School Places – London

For people who do not know – Grammar schools are state selective secondary schools ie. they select their pupils by means of an 11plus exam taken by children at the beginning of their school year 6.

Currently, there are 163 grammar schools in England and a further 67 grammar schools in Northern Ireland from the near 3,000 state secondary’s. Wales and Scotland have no state grammar school.

The current government made a ‘u-turn’ on no more grammar schools but left the back door wide open, allowing current grammar schools with their blessings to create extra places.

In brief, in 2009 – 2010 there were 110,600 pupil places in grammar schools with an average population of 690 pupils. Last year, in 2016 – 2017, the state grammar school pupil population grew by 7,600. Based on the average given that calculates to about 11 new grammar schools have been opened or 7600 extra 11plus places being created.

Unfortunately, the increase in spaces has been in the traditional areas where grammar schools are already established and not in other areas where parents are demanding better academic education for their children.

In London, where there is a strong demand, the grammar school population is still relative static and bright children are losing out every year on gaining a place. The impact is difficult to measure but grammar schools’ being academically strong does lead to children attaining excellent GCSEs and ‘A’ levels results. The impact being that these children can then go on to gaining a place at one of the Russell Group of Universities and onto a great career. Something we all want for our children.

Personally, this is a right that all children should have and I personally recommend that everyone should be lobbying their local Member of Parliament and local Councillors to that effect. We do require more state grammar school places and children having a better chance in passing their 11plus exams, no matter what area they live in.


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