Independent schools expect a boost from grammar school plans

Independent fee-paying schools will receive a boost from middle-class parents whose children fail the 11-plus, according to Neil Roskilly, chief executive of the Independents Schools Association.

Speaking to the Observer, Roskilly said that this was a trend that could already be seen in areas that operated a selective system, where parents used fee-paying schools as ‘insurance’ incase their children failed to get into a grammar school.

He said that these parents look to dodge what they see as a second rate education and he believes that if selection is rolled out more widely across England, this trend could be seen on a much larger scale.

He told the Observer: “The most thriving independent schools are actually in areas where there are grammar schools now.

“The expectations of parents are raised through preparation for the 11-plus test in places such as Kent – Tunbridge Wells is a classic example. And those parents then say, ‘We didn’t get in but I am not going to go into the maintained sector’. For every grammar school that is created, there are three or four of what used to be called secondary moderns. That’s the great fear for the middle classes. So they then look at the independent schools as an insurance offer in those areas. I can see that happening more and more across the country.”

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