Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Academia "Gets It" On Grammar Schools … Or Maybe Not

Here I go, banging on about grammar schools again.

Today we’re visiting The Grauniad:

Grammar schools do not improve social mobility for working-class

The study, which appears in the latest edition of the British Journal of Sociology, found children from working-class homes were no more likely to move up the social ladder if they went to a grammar school rather than a comprehensive.

Manchester Grammar School: Side View of the Ma...

A grammar school, yesterday (or probably earlier)

In other news, a study carried out by the Vatican finds the Pontiff is pretty sure that God exists.

Attending a grammar school did improve a working-class child’s chance of earning slightly more than their parents. But children from middle-class homes, who went to grammar schools, also earned slightly more than their parents had done.

So, selective schools do give an advantage to those who attend them, whether middle or working class. At last, they’ve seen the light!

Oh, wait, grammar schools are evil aren’t they? What to do … what to do …

Ah, here we go … left a bit, left a bit more, whoa! Mind you don’t lose the crossbar …

However, across the sample, the advantages of going to a grammar school were cancelled out by the social disadvantages experienced by those who went to secondary moderns. These adults did not have a different social class or earning power to their fathers.

That’s rather like saying that the rising tide lifted all boats in the harbour, but that it was cancelled out by those boats which were grounded on the other side of the country. So we should just sink all the boats, in the name of equality – then they’ll all be on the seabed together.

On a less flippant point, and putting aside the desperate goalpost shifting, oh and ignoring the highly subjective task of measuring someone’s social class; at the time when comprehensives were first introduced, I would imagine there was less distinction between the comps. and grammars, since the vicious and virtuous circles of selection by postcode or class hadn’t yet gathered pace.

As an aside, what are sociologists for? How much, say, did they contribute to the balance of trade, or to the Exchequer? Just wondering.


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