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Socio-economic differences in grammar school access & outcomes

Project overview

This project aims to answer key questions regarding entry and access into grammar schools, and the impact that they have upon young people’s lives.

Despite academic research, there remain important gaps in our knowledge regarding grammar schools and student attainment. For instance:

  • Are low income parents less likely to apply for their child to attend grammar school than high income parents?
  • To what extent can differential application rates and the use of private tutors explain socio-economic differences in grammar school attendance rates?
  • What is the ‘impact’ of attending grammar school – relative to not attending a grammar school – upon young people’s cognitive, non-cognitive, social and emotional outcomes, amongst those who live within a selective education area?
  • What ‘impact’ does going to school in a selective local education area have upon young people’s cognitive, non-cognitive, social and emotional outcomes – relative to going to school in a non-selective (comprehensive) education area?

This project will address these questions using data from the Millennium Cohort Study. This will provide new insight into the characteristics of children who apply to and attend grammar schools, and investigate the impact grammar schools (and living within a selective education system) has upon young people’s outcomes.

Latest on this project


  • Professor John Jerrim
    University College London

  • Cheryl Lloyd
    Programme Head, Education
    Nuffield Foundation
  • Director, Education
    Nuffield Foundation

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We aim to improve people’s lives by funding research that informs social policy, primarily in Education, Welfare and Justice. We also fund student programmes that give young people skills and confidence in science and research.

We are an open, collaborative and engaged funder that offers more than money. Through connecting the individual projects we fund, we strengthen their collective impact and give voice to an overarching narrative.