Grammars ‘unnecessary distraction’, say MPs

The government has failed to make a convincing case for opening a new wave of grammar schools in England, say MPs.

The education select committee has cast doubt on claims that they can help social mobility.

There is also scepticism about whether an entrance test for grammars can be made “tutor proof”.

Neil Carmichael, the committee’s chair, says the focus on expanding grammars has become an “unnecessary distraction” from improving the school system.

Read on…


8 thoughts on “Grammars ‘unnecessary distraction’, say MPs

  1. Neil Carmichael is a hypocrite.
    He was a boarder at St Peter’s, an independent school in York that dates back to AD627 and includes among its alumni Guy Fawkes.Today to send your son to board would cost £27,375 a year.


    • So why does that make him a hypocrite?

      It appears that it wasn’t just him but the whole of the all-party select committee that reached that conclusion having heard and assessed all the evidence.

      It would have been hypocritical if he had reached a different conclusion.


  2. If Carmichael was committed to grammar schools he would not have said they are an “unnecessary distraction”.
    distraction (dɪˈstrækʃən)
    1. the act or an instance of distracting or the state of being distracted
    2. something that serves as a diversion or entertainment
    3. an interruption; obstacle to concentration

    Being educated in the private sector and regarding grammar schools as a distraction does not IMV show Carmichael in a good light. He has not provided any evidence to back his statement and the guff about pupils needing extra tuition to pass the entrance exam to grammar schools is smoke and mirrors.
    The ESC should be pushing the government to make state schools provide the same level of education and opportunities as grammar schools.

    NB. I went to a grammar school. I did not need extra tuition,I just worked hard because I wanted to.


  3. Colin,
    Like you I went to Grammar school – back in 1953 and yes, I do oppose their re-introduction nationally. There are so many other better solutions – IMHO.

    Have you any recent experience of grammar schools, say since the late 1970s when by then there were only about 300 of them left in the country? ( I have no idea how old you are).

    All my kids were brought up in areas with Grammar schools, but none of them attended one. They all now have at least one university degree. … and whilst my elder grandchild is in her first year at uni, my younger grandchild is at a genuinely amazing non-selective school. This one: – it’s just 100 metres from her home.

    Like I said above there are so many better solutions than selection at 11.


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