Azara Blog: Another pointless look at the admissions policy of selective schools

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Date published: 2007/06/01

The BBC says:

State schools that control their own admissions are covertly selecting pupils by ability, a think tank claims.

The IPPR study claims such schools are significantly less likely to reflect the social make-up of their locality.

The report says that admissions for all schools, including the government's flagship Academies, should be decided independently through a local system.
The IPPR study compared the progress of pupils in 3,000 secondary schools in England with the social make-up of their local area.

It found that faith schools were the least reflective of their local area.

They were nearly 10 times more likely to have a higher proportion of able pupils than their local area might suggest.

Meanwhile state foundation schools, many of which select a proportion of their pupils by ability and aptitude, were six times more likely to have a higher share of high-ability pupils than were in their local area.

Surprise, schools that can choose students choose good students. Who would have thought it? The IPPR is just another useless consultancy plaguing the nation. And the BBC article must be confused. If the "IPPR study compared the progress of pupils" then the results could be deemed to reflect how the schools have done, not how good the students were before they entered the school. If it really is progress being measured, then the IPPR study is not only pointless, it is based on misleading evidence. Of course the IPPR is made up of the usual academic middle class suspects, all of whom will guarantee that their own children get into the best schools (just like Blair has and Cameron will).

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