So, the government has decided to bring back grammar schools.
The question which should be asked here and isn’t being asked as far as I can tell is ‘How will this be funded?’ are taxes going to be raised, no I don’t think so.
What is most likely to happen is that other local schools will have their budgets cut.
Who benefits from grammar schools?
The wealthy benefit to a much greater extent than those who are not so well off. It is promoted by the government as a meritocracy where talented children can be helped to flourish whatever their background, but that is not what happens in practice.
What happens around existing grammar schools is that more well off parents get private tutors for their children to give them an advantage in the tests. So the intake is skewed in favour of the rich with a small proportion of children from less well off families who got in because they were exceptionally talented.
But this benefits the grammar school because these children are very easy to teach because of their innate talent and the school can point to them ans say yes we do take in children from poorer families.
Grammar schools are divisive for society, they will not benefit working class people, instead they will benefit middle class families who have enough money to afford private tutors for their children.
Grammar schools will not raise the oveall standards, they will polarise the education system by raising their own standards at the expense of other schools in the area.
The way to raise overall standards is to have a diverse mix of children from all backgrounds in a school.
It seems ridiculous to me that public schools get charitable status. They are a bastion of elitism in British society offering very expensive courses to educate the children of rich families. There is no way that these institutions should qualify for charitable status!
The very flimsy justification for them getting charitable status is that they occasionally take in exceptionally talented children from poorer backgrounds and give them a free education.
Firstly they don’t do this for very many children, secondly they also benefit in the same way that grammar schools do. The children have to be very talented to get in and this raises the overall standards for the school.
But the main reason is that it gives them the excuse to get charitable status and this is the main reason they do it, charitable status gives them huge financial advantages.
In my opinion public schools should have their charitable status removed (all of them) because it is not justified.
But nothing will be done.
A great many people with power in the government and in the civil service were educated in public schools and so nothing will be done about this.
As long as the establishment is full of public school alumni it will continue to be a bastion of privilige and elitism in British society.