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Grammar Schools

826 of 1160 nominations


Grammar Schools

Is this an icon?


Grammar Schools

It may be 40 years since the dismantling of the grammar schools began, and the comprehensive system emerged blinking into the light, but there are plenty of people who are still passionate about the traditional grammar school, despite its depleted numbers today. After the second world war, the Tripartite System, of which grammar schools were a part, saw children taking an Eleven Plus examination in their last year of primary school, and being chosen for secondary modern, secondary technical or grammar school on the basis of their exam results. Grammar school devotees argue that grammars give the best possible advantage to able children.

The grammar school started life around the late sixth century as places of learning that taught Latin grammar to trainee priests and monks. Slowly their curriculum expanded, and in 1840 the Grammar Schools Act extended lessons to include science and literature. There are around 160 grammar schools in England today.


Your comments

It's the best system of public education that there has ever been.

David Crump

I wil never cease to be grateful to my Grammar School. I come from a poor family but the 11-plus gave me the chance to be the best I could be by sending me to a grammar school. I may lack the fancy bits of paper but I can hold my own with any honours graduate or PhD you like to produce! The population should rue the day that saw the beginning of the 'dumbing down' of the school system.

Sadly, giving gross privilege to the wealthy and not necessarily deserving probably is a British icon. But it's nothing to be proud of.

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My nomination is the garden shed.