Inequality in Access to Grammar Schools

Matt Dickson, Lindsey Macmillan

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

21 Downloads (Pure)


There are 163 grammar schools in England, that select pupils based on their performance on a test at age 11 – the ‘11 plus’.
Selective school systems increase inequalities in outcomes that persist into the labour market (Burgess et al., 2020).
Children from low-and middle-income families are far less likely to attend grammar schools, even when comparing children with the same achievement at age 11.
Children from poorer families face multiple barriers to accessing grammar schools: fewer educational resources at home, and less time to engage in home learning.
Richer parents in selective areas are more likely to pay for tutoring and extra lessons, particularly in subjects that are covered in the ’11 plus’ such as English and maths.
The likely widening attainment gap as a result of Covid-19 school closures will exacerbate inequalities in access to grammar schools,
This raises serious questions about a ‘business as usual’ model for ‘11 plus’ tests in September 2020.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationCentre for Education Policy & Equalising Opportunities (CEPEO) Briefing Note
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Inequality in Access to Grammar Schools'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this