Are grammar schools too competitive?

byt fund for uk grammar schools

The Government has created a new £50 million fund to expand grammar schools following concerns that grammar schools are becoming too competitive and exclusive. This new fund aims to create roughly 3000 more places for students across the UK.

Grammar schools were first introduced shortly after World War II, and are a mid-way option between state schools and private schools. While having competitive entrance exams like private schools, they are state funded. At their peak in the 1960s, there were over 1200 schools in the UK and Wales.

Unfortunately, from 1965 onwards the number of grammar schools in England and Wales was significantly reduced. There are now only 232 grammars in the UK and Wales.

As a result, the competition for places at 11+ has skyrocketed and many parents have turned to private tuition in attempt to increase their children’s chances of obtaining places at grammar schools. In fact, it is now estimated that 33% of primary school students engage home tutors to help them with school work and entrance exam prep. BYT statistics show similar results, with primary school children having almost double the tuition time of secondary school students. 

Nick Gibb, the Minister of State at the Department for Education, has expressed his concern at the number of students who are receiving private tuition. He commented that “we do think that the children getting into grammar schools should more closely reflect the population that they are serving…What we want grammar schools to do, is make up for that disadvantage in their application procedures”.

At Bright Young Things, we are aware of how competitive grammar school entrance exams are. This is why we always aim to push our students to work above the required level, to ensure that they go into the exams feeling confident and gain admission to their desired school.

As well as our private home tuition in London, our centres offer support to students from low-income families who need academic support. Alongside accepting Childcare Vouchers and Working Tax Credits, all of our Centres also have a BYT Foundation scheme. This offers discounted tuition packages for children who qualify for Free School Meals. In all the Centres, we reserve 5% of places for these students.

If you are thinking of entering your child for a grammar school, contact our Centres or our London Agency and we will provide you with some more information about how we can help.

🌍 Harrow: 020 8909 2829,

🌍 St Albans: 01727 260 239,

🌍 Maidenhead: 01628 200 114,

🌍 High Wycombe: 01494 911 655,