Jo Brighouse

Grammar schools and the price of privilege

Making a school into a grammar doesn't automatically mean that the quality of teaching and learning will be better for all students, writes our TES columnist

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In my final year of primary school, I passed my 11-plus. To be more accurate, I scraped through after my mother made me do some practice tests and showed me how to tick the boxes correctly. And so, while my friends headed off in large sociable groups, I found myself alone, travelling on four buses a day to an institution that, after my cosy primary, was like landing on a different planet.

It wasn’t just the sudden absence of boys, it was the entire place: Victorian desks with inkwells, a school hall that resembled a stately home, and a gowned headmistress on a dais. She reminded us on a weekly ...

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