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The Result of 11 Plus Selection: An Investigation into Opportunities and Outcomes for Pupils in Selective LEAs

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  • Adele Atkinson
  • Paul Gregg
  • Brendon McConnell

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Abstract

This paper assesses the impact of academic selection at age 11 on children in the minority of areas that still operate such a system. The answers are very clear. Overall there is little or no impact on attainment, but those educated in grammar schools do substantially better (around four grade points more than pupils with the same Key Stage 2 (KS2) points in similar, but non-selective, areas). This is equivalent to raising four GCSEs from a grade ‘C’ to a ‘B’. Other children within selective areas who do not gain a place in a grammar school are disadvantaged by a little under one grade point. In part these effects stem from the substantive under representation of poorer and special needs children in grammar schools. Only 32% of high ability children eligible for free school meals (FSM) attend grammar schools compared with 60% of non-FSM pupils. So whilst the net effect of selection is not substantive it does result in gains for those attending the grammar schools and a slight disadvantage for the rest. The paradox is that grammar schools bestow greater advantages to poor children than more affluent children, but very few make the cut.

Suggested Citation

  • Adele Atkinson & Paul Gregg & Brendon McConnell, 2006. "The Result of 11 Plus Selection: An Investigation into Opportunities and Outcomes for Pupils in Selective LEAs," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 06/150, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  • Handle: RePEc:bri:cmpowp:06/150
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    File URL: http://www.bris.ac.uk/Depts/CMPO/workingpapers/wp150.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. David Jesson, "undated". "The Comparative Evaluation of GCSE Value-Added Performance by Type of School and LEA," Discussion Papers 00/52, Department of Economics, University of York.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Social mobility: the nasty arithmetic
      by chris dillow in Stumbling and Mumbling on 2008-06-24 13:58:30

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Graham Hobbs & Anna Vignoles, 2007. "Is Free School Meal Status a Valid Proxy for Socio-Economic Status (in Schools Research)?," CEE Discussion Papers 0084, Centre for the Economics of Education, LSE.
    2. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Do Students Benefit from Attending Better Schools? Evidence from Rule-based Student Assignments in Trinidad and Tobago," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1399-1429, December.
    3. Nina Guyon & Eric Maurin & Sandra McNally, 2012. "The Effect of Tracking Students by Ability into Different Schools: A Natural Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 47(3), pages 684-721.
    4. Maurin, Eric & McNally, Sandra, 2007. "Educational Effects of Widening Access to the Academic Track: A Natural Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2596, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Proud, S., 2014. "Girl Power? An Analysis Of Peer Effects Using Exogenous Changes In The Gender Make-Up Of The Peer Group," Regional and Sectoral Economic Studies, Euro-American Association of Economic Development, vol. 14(3), pages 5-18.
    6. Burgess, Simon & Dickson, Matt & Macmillan, Lindsey, 2014. "Selective Schooling Systems Increase Inequality," IZA Discussion Papers 8505, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    7. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2009. "Ability-grouping and Academic Inequality: Evidence From Rule-based Student Assignments," NBER Working Papers 14911, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Simon Burgess & Claire Crawford & Lindsey Macmillan, 2017. "Assessing the role of grammar schools in promoting social mobility," DoQSS Working Papers 17-09, Department of Quantitative Social Science - UCL Institute of Education, University College London.
    9. Clark Damon, 2010. "Selective Schools and Academic Achievement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-40, February.
    10. Hart, Robert A. & Moro, Mirko, 2017. "Date of Birth and Selective Schooling," IZA Discussion Papers 10949, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    11. Sandra McNally, 2005. "Reforms to Schooling in the UK: A Review of Some Major Reforms and their Evaluation," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 6(3), pages 287-296, August.
    12. Burgess, Simon, 2016. "Human Capital and Education: The State of the Art in the Economics of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 9885, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    grammar schools; selective education;

    JEL classification:

    • I20 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - General

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