OECD education head criticises grammar school plans

The OECD’s head of education Andreas Schleicher has criticised plans to open new grammar schools in England, claiming there is no relationship between increasing selection and how well a school system performs.

Speaking at the launch of the OECD’s ‘Education at Glance’ report, which compares education systems around the world, Schleicher noted that selection was widely used in countries such as Germany and Switzerland and has not been proven to produce high-achieving students.

He conceded that the brightest students don’t always ‘have the educational opportunities they deserve’ but cautioned that schools have proven to be very good at selecting students through ’social background’ rather than academic potential, because wealthy parents ‘will always find a way’ to get their children through the one-off test.

He said that the role of grammars and selection was being ‘dramatically overplayed’ and were not the way to raise standards.

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