Opportunity is a topic of conversation that interests everyone from politicians to parents. Without opportunities to grasp, life experiences can be limited and quality of life can be reduced.
Different types of opportunities can present themselves. Children may be born into a family running a specific type of business, we may even get a little bit of luck along the way – but high-quality education is arguably the biggest opportunity in those early years.
But what is classed as a good education and what can the best schools lead to? Here we tackle this complex question and bring you up to date on the latest research and statistics.
What Is Classed as a Good Early Education?
In the UK, secondary education is overseen by the Office for Standards in Education, better known as OFSTED. Their evaluators will visit schools to determine the quality of the establishment from its facilities to teachers and more.
An OFSTED rating is usually a reliable indicator of a good education for your child, but they cannot be completely relied upon. Some schools make major changes and do not receive a new visit and evaluation quickly, meaning they could be better or worse than their current OFSTED rating. In 2018, it was even reported that some schools had not been inspected for 10 years.
If parents cannot always rely on the current OFSTED rating then they may need to source information from elsewhere, including parents with children currently attending the school.
Another option is to consider a grammar school. Grammar schools are selective schools that choose pupils based on academic merit and push them to prepare for further education at top universities. These types of schools are renowned for their excellent teaching and the opportunities that can come from attending them. To date, some conflicting research has been published on this subject.
In 2014, a study analysed the results of attending grammar schools over a long duration. The results found that males were twice as likely to earn a degree and female grammar school students earn 20% more than those girls who did not attend a grammar school on average. Thus, it is evidenced that grammar schools are a sign of a good early education and can even help close the gender wage gap.
But that’s not all…
Grammar Schools Improve Oxbridge Chances!
The Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) has published results of an investigation into how grammar schools improve the chances of reaching the UK’s top universities, namely Oxford and Cambridge. Their results indicate that the chances of progressing to these esteemed university increases, which is even more true for pupils from disadvantaged groups.
Specifically, the study uncovered that children from ethnic minorities who attended grammar schools were five times more likely to earn a place at Oxford or Cambridge. Attending a grammar school also appears not to be a more difficult accomplishment for such groups considering the same report discovered that just under 50% of grammar school pupils today stem from families with below median income levels. This negates what has been published in the past.
Furthermore, considering that graduates of Oxford and Cambridge tend to earn more than most other UK universities, it appears that grammar schools can be the key to career success for children from low-income families. It also makes a strong case for grammar schools driving social mobility across the UK – something they had been criticised for not doing enough over the last decades.
Is It Just About Careers and Money?
If excellent early education leads to better universities and higher-paying careers, is that all parents should care about? The world does run on money and workers with more of it are usually more stable and free to enjoy the nicer things in life. But that isn't the only reason why a good career matters.
Various other studies have made connections between education and life satisfaction, as well as health. In fact, one study reported by The Guardian suggested that people without a formal education over the age of 18 had a lower life expectancy than those who were well educated.
It can be argued then that a quality education is not just good to progress into a better paying career, but it is also beneficial to the things we cannot put a price on like our wellbeing and longevity.
You’ve read all the info, data and scientific evidence, but what does it mean for parents who want the best for their children?
If the above information has you thinking how you can give your children the best chance for a long, enriched, healthy, happy and wealthy life – consider a grammar school.
These schools admit pupils based on a test called the 11 plus exam. It is an exam that challenges children in four different areas that are unlike other school tests. They seek out natural ability to solve difficult problems in maths, English, verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning. Only so many acceptance letters are up for grabs, meaning there is no magic pass mark and students are competing with each other.
Preparing for the 11 plus exam can be difficult because of the uniqueness of the test. You may choose to do so with a private tutor, but over a year (around the optimum time to start preparing before the test) their fees can add up.
Luckily, there is another way!
The 11 Plus Preparation Course with 11 Plus Success
11 Plus Success offers parents and their children an effective way to prepare for the exam with the convenience and affordability of an online course. This course is just as good as the teachings offered by private tutors – because it was made by them!
Prepared by experts who know the 11 plus exam and its particularities, you can maximise your child’s chances here.
For more information, do not hesitate to contact the 11 Plus Success team.