Every parent wants their child to experience first-class education. The best teachers, safe learning environments and classes which will ignite their thirst for knowledge are a must. One way of ensuring your child receives all of these things - and much more - is at an excellent grammar school.
Parents in England and Northern Ireland are trying to help their children get into a local Grammar School. Here we will take a closer look at Grammar Schools, why they are so popular among parents and how to get your child a place.
What Is a Grammar School?
A Grammar School is a type of state secondary school. The UK’s secondary education system was once divided into different schools, schools which catered for pupils who would then as adults take jobs in trade and manual labour and schools which were designed to prepare children for further education and universities. The former being a secondary modern school and the latter being a Grammar School.
There has been some political criticism in the way these schools were set up which claimed that the divide in schooling ambitions prevented social mobility. As a result, no more Grammar schools have recently been made and the ones which do exist have been overshadowed by the new schooling system - Comprehensive Education. Comprehensive schools exist for all students to attend the same school despite their academic ambitions.
Some politicians have attempted to ban Grammar Schools, but their efforts have been largely unsuccessful. To date, Grammar Schools remain a fixture of UK education, even if in a smaller number compared to Comprehensive Schools.
Grammar schools still have the intention of helping students excel in academia and prepare them for university and high-earning careers. To make sure they accept the brightest students, they choose children based on an entrance exam - which is discussed in more detail further below.
Why Do Parents Choose Grammar Schools?
After reading the above, the reasons as to which parents want their child to attend a Grammar School may be obvious. Here are five of the best reasons why parents are waiting by the mailbox for that acceptance letter - obvious ones included.
1. Top Performing
As Grammar Schools are offering an academic environment which pushes students to be their best, they must use the best teachers, resources and facilities. Grammar schools have some of the UK’s most experienced and skilled teachers and the establishment to match. From the classroom to the playing field, parents can expect their children to receive a stellar schooling experience in all areas.
2. Fewer Class Distractions
Comprehensive school classrooms are made up of all types of children with their own skills and talents. Some of these children will not enjoy learning in the classroom and prefer to be preparing for employment and developing manual skills. When children disengage with their lessons, they can become noisy or distracting to other pupils trying to learn.
This is much less likely to happen at a Grammar School as they round up the children who enjoy Academia and are enthusiastic learners. Fewer classroom distractions mean even more opportunities for children to achieve and succeed.
3. University and High-Earnings Beckon
Parents who want their children to go to university and land a top job prefer Grammar Schools because they are made to fulfil these aims. One study reported by the Telegraph found that female Grammar School students will earn 20-percent more than female students who attend non-selective schools. The same study also suggested that male Grammar School attendees were more likely to gain a university degree than male students at other Comprehensive Schools.
4. They’re Free!
Because Grammar Schools are run by the Government, they are completely free. This means that parents can send their children to a school which is geared up to help them reach their full potential without having to spend thousands on tuition. In one way, they become private schools’ affordable second cousin.
5. All Aboard!
Just because tuition is free does not mean Grammar Schools come at zero costs. Some Grammar Schools will offer additional services which parents must pay for. This includes things like board - if the grammar school also operates as a boarding school. Additional and convenient services like these may be the cherry on top of the cake for parents seeking out the best grammar schools.
Grammar School Entrance Exams
Now you know why so many parents opt for a Grammar School in the UK, the next question is ‘how’? Grammar schools offer children a place after reviewing their scores on an Entrance Exam. This Entrance Exam is called the 11 plus exam. However, not all 11 plus exams are the same.
Most Grammar Schools will use an exam created by one of two examination bodies known as CEM or GL Assessment. These exams do have differences but cover the same four areas. A much smaller number of Grammar Schools will provide their own entrance test made by the teachers at the school.
It is also important to remember that Grammar Schools will also consider other factors outside of the exam such as achievement in sport, music or even appeals supported by school headteachers. In the end, the Grammar School has to act fairly but they get the final say on who gets accepted and who does not.
11 Plus Success Can Help
So much weight is put on a single test which decides whether your child gets to experience the joys and benefits of a top-performing Grammar School. The 11 plus assessment can make you and your child nervous and anxious - and the best way to counter this is with preparation.
The online 11 plus course with 11 Plus Success is one of the most convenient, affordable and effective ways to study for the actual content of the exam. Devised by industry-leading experts and tutors, you can maximise your child’s chances by choosing our course.
For more information see our FAQs section or get in touch and we’ll be happy to help!