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grammar school


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Originally, a school which focused on an education in the classics, and specifically upon the grammar of Latin and Greek. Following the Education Act 1944 (Butler Act), local authorities were empowered to set up secondary schools inspired by this model, and the name became attached to the selective schools in the tripartite secondary system designed to cater for the needs of the most academic pupils. Selection of pupils was carried out at the end of primary schooling through the Eleven Plus examination, which was believed to identify the type of schooling most appropriate to each child. Those not selected for grammar schools were allocated places at a secondary modern school or, in some local authorities, a technical school. Following the Education Act 1976, the Eleven Plus was largely discontinued, except within those authorities with a strong Conservative council, such as Lincolnshire and Kent, where the policy of retaining their grammar and secondary modern schools was enabled to continue by the Education Act 1979, which made the abolition of selection optional rather than mandatory. In most of England, however, the selective system was gradually replaced by comprehensive schools in the 1970s and 1980s; and by the early 1990s there were few grammar schools remaining. These do continue to exist, however, alongside secondary modern schools, in some local authorities, such as Lincolnshire.

Subjects: Education — British History.


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