Grammar axe put paid to the Oxbridge many

1st July 2011 at 01:00

Schools minister Nick Gibb is to be congratulated for talking up the success of our remaining grammar schools and allowing them to expand.

Having read that there are currently over 1,000 grammar school-educated undergraduates at Oxbridge, I cannot help but reflect that if grammar school numbers had not been decimated, that number would be somewhere in the region of 7,800. This figure is arrived at in the following way.

In the 1970s there were approximately 1,200 grammar schools. Now there are 164. Therefore, 1,000 students at Oxbridge can be multiplied by 7.3, which equals 7,300. Add 7 per cent to allow for the rise in UK population since the 1970s. The final figure is 7,800.

Looked at another way, had it not been for the decimation of the grammar schools, another 25,200 (by my calculation) state-educated pupils would have had the chance to avail themselves of an Oxbridge education during the past 40 years.

Dr Andrew Norman, Formerly of Midsomer Norton Grammar School and St Edmund Hall, Oxford.

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