Grammar schools: parents deeply divided


What does a great education system look like? The government has unveiled plans for more selective schools, but parents on Mumsnet are almost evenly split on whether we need them 

When we asked more than 1,000 parents whether England should have more grammar schools, 37% said yes - and 40% said no. Not everyone had decided though - and almost a quarter of parents (23%) didn't know what to think.

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No consensus 

The government's proposals have been controversial - with teachers and parents voicing strongly opposing views on grammar schools. On Mumsnet, there have been thousands of posts on the topic, with parents sharing their opinions and experiences - but again, they're not reaching agreement. 

One respondent said "all schools should offer an excellent education for all children." What's controversial among Mumsnetters, is what that looks like. For one survey respondent it's about choice and ability: "I would like the option to send my very academic child to a grammar." On the other side of the debate though one parent worried about the impact of children not selected for grammars. "Non-grammar pupils would feel as though they have failed." 


A question of fairness

Mumsnet founder Justine Roberts says we're no closer to agreeing on what a great schooling system looks like after ten years of near-permanent revolution in education. The current debate over grammar schools, she says, touches on things all parents care about. "It's no surprise that it has aroused such a depth of feeling."

Survey of 1,057 Mumsnet users in England with at least one child, conducted between 12 and 16 September 2016.

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Last updated: about 4 years ago