Karen Wespieser, Claudia Sumner, Jennifer Garry, Daniele Bernardinelli and Louis Coiffait
This report focuses on partially selective schools: those that admit a proportion of pupils by academic ability and/or subject aptitude, and a proportion by commonly used non-selective criteria.
The authors set out to compare the results of pupils at partially selective schools with comparable pupils at similar, non-selective schools and found that there was no overall academic benefit to attending a partially selective school. They also found that pupils with high prior attainment made less progress in maths at the partially selective schools than their peers at the non-selective schools; that pupils with low prior attainment were significantly less likely to achieve five good GCSEs; and that some of the partially selective schools had overly complex admissions policies that acted as a potential additional barrier to applicants from disadvantaged backgrounds.
The research was based on data from 38 partially selective schools in England, which were identified through a review of secondary school admissions policies.
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