Since the 16th Century, grammar schools have existed to educate the top 25% most able students in the UK, selected via the 11-plus exam. Following rising criticism for being too divisive, the government began to phase them out during the mid - 1960’s in favour of comprehensive schools. However, some local authorities grappled successfully to retain their beloved grammar schools. The final blow came in 1998, when the government officially banned the building of any new grammar schools. However, more recently grammar schools are now being funded to increase their intake or open ‘satellite’ schools.
Whatever your view, grammar schools remain a controversial topic. Those against them believe they encourage inequality because generally, the number of students on Free School Meals are low. Supporters suggest that grammar schools give all students, regardless of background, access to a good education and opportunities. Some grammar schools offer preference to local students whilst having no boundaries on catchment area. This makes them a popular choice for families willing to travel.
In terms of distinguishing grammar against both fee and non-fee paying schools, you can’t rely on the names, as not all grammar schools have the word grammar in their title whilst some fee paying schools do e.g. Bristol Grammar School and the Royal Grammar School Worcester.
There are currently 163 grammar schools across the UK - located in 38 local authority council districts (seven of those are in London). Therefore you can expect house prices and rental rates to be higher in these areas.
When relocating families, education is naturally a priority. The options of fee paying, state, single-sex or grammar can leave families feeling over-whelmed. If you are considering a grammar school then we have broken down some things you need to know.
Some local authorities run county wide entrance tests whilst some schools create their own entrance exams. Rather than English and Maths, many students can expect to be tested on a combination of; numerical reasoning, verbal and non-verbal reasoning. It is believed that these areas mean that students are less subject to students being tutored. However, competition is fierce and demand for 11-plus tutors remains high. Either way students need to be signed up before July in Year 5 so that entrance exams can be sat in September of Year 6.
With seven grammar schools in the county, Gloucestershire is a popular choice for families looking to relocate. With all seven schools making more than half a grades progress on average per student, it’s no wonder that 3,400 people left London for Gloucestershire last year. To find out more information about relocating to the South West or grammar schools in Gloucestershire then get in touch.
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