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The Grammar School

Although their influence is much less now than it was, The Grammar School is still one of the most influential and important education edifices in the UK. They were the benchmark for success for any 11 year old as they prepared to make the next step up into big school. The 11 plus was the test that many feared. It could define your life depending on whether you passed or failed. Success meant that you could be almost granted a white collar job. Failure meant that you would have to go to the local comprehensive. The results of which meant you got more standard education that would lead to factory and manual jobs even if you did well. Someone with a lower grade at Grammar would get a job over someone who left Comprehensive with the highest grades. It was known as “the old school tie”.

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It was true that the Grammars did provide a better education. Public funding could sometimes not compete with the private sector and your ability to pay for your child gave them a leg up. This created resentment with a large part of the population. Many saw this as a two tier system and reflective of a still existent class system.

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However the Grammars did represent a chance for children from lower class backgrounds to improve themselves. If they could pass the grades then there was a good chance that the Grammar school would be a wonderful opportunity. Comprehensives and Grammars are much closer now, thanks in part to Websites for schools from suppliers like and the addition of funding from schools with academy status.

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