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Government’s claim to improve social mobility by expanding Grammar schools through admitting more ‘disadvantaged’ pupils

May 15, 2019 @ 3:30 pm - 5:00 pm

Research on Social Justice and Education Seminar

There have been numerous studies showing that Grammar Schools had become ‘ghettoes for the privileged rather than a ladder of opportunity for economically disadvantaged pupils’. There have been no significant academic studies supporting the opposing claims. In 2016 Theresa May promised to improve social mobility by expanding Grammar schools thus ‘helping create a truly meritocratic Britain’.  Existing Grammar schools would be expected to contribute meaningfully towards this by ‘ensuring they admit a proportion of pupils from lower income households’. To fund this government is providing £50m per year to create an extra 30 extra places in each year for each of the first 16 schools.

In this seminar, we review the 16 schools to compare these with other existing Grammars to show where they stand in relation to: 1) Recent admission of ‘disadvantaged’ pupils; identifying the challenges which their new commitment involves. 2) Other Grammar schools which have successfully recruited substantial numbers of ‘disadvantaged’ pupils.

We identify the funding these schools currently receive to assist in the education of their current ‘disadvantaged’ pupils, to compare with the amounts each school will receive for this somewhat ‘speculative’ project. We raise questions about the accountability mechanisms which need to be in place to ensure value for money.

There will be some refreshments available after the seminar at 5pm.

Venue details
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • No hearing loop



May 15, 2019
3:30 pm - 5:00 pm


University of York, Dept of Education


D/L/104, Derwent College
York, + Google Map
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