Grammar schools full of middle-class pupils: top official
December 15 2013 10:13 PM

Michael Wilshaw has slammed grammar schools.

Evening Standard/London

Grammar schools are “stuffed full” of middle-class children and do not improve the chances of poorer pupils, Sir Michael Wilshaw has said.

The Ofsted chief inspector also said summer holidays were “too long” and admitted that he had concerns about the number of Romanian and Bulgarian children who might come to British schools after restrictions on the two European Union countries expire at the end of the year.

Michael’s criticism of state grammar schools in England comes after the rejection of an attempt to expand the provision of selective education in Kent.

He told The Observer: “Grammar schools are stuffed full of middle-class kids. A tiny percentage are on free school meals: 3%. That is a nonsense.

“Anyone who thinks grammar schools are going to increase social mobility needs to look at those figures. I don’t think they work.

“The fact of the matter is that there will be calls for a return to the grammar school system. Well, look what is happening at the moment.

“Northern Ireland has a selective system and they did worse than us in the (international comparison) table. The grammar schools might do well with 10% of the school population, but everyone else does really badly. What we have to do is make sure all schools do well in the areas in which they are located.”

Michael highlighted the role that “pushy parents “could play in driving up standards.

“Parents write in to Ofsted and complain about an institution. And I would encourage that,” he said.  “Pushy parents have usually got kids in schools where, because they are pushing hard, standards rise.”




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