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Why do so few low- and middle-income children attend a grammar school? New evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study

Jerrim, J; Sims, S; (2019) Why do so few low- and middle-income children attend a grammar school? New evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study. British Educational Research Journal , 45 (3) pp. 425-457. 10.1002/berj.3502. Green open access

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Abstract

Proponents argue that grammar schools enhance social mobility by allowing high-attaining pupils to attend elite schools, no matter what their social background. However, disadvantaged pupils cannot benefit from grammar schools unless they gain access to them. In this article, we use rich cohort data to investigate the strength of, and reasons for, the socio-economic gradient in grammar school entrance rates. Presenting new evidence for England and Northern Ireland, we find stark differences in grammar school attendance by family income. Although differences in prior academic attainment can partly explain these gaps, parental school preferences and private tuition also play an important role. Entrance to grammar school therefore depends on birth and wealth, as well as academic attainment.

Type: Article
Title: Why do so few low- and middle-income children attend a grammar school? New evidence from the Millennium Cohort Study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/berj.3502
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/berj.3502
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: grammar schools; private tuition; selective education
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Learning and Leadership > Centre for Education Policy and Equalising Opportunities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Social Research Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10071428
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