National Grammar Schools Association
|Legal status||Non-profit organisation|
|Purpose||Grammar schools in England and Northern Ireland|
|England and Northern Ireland|
The National Grammar Schools Association is an organisation in the United Kingdom which campaigns for the promotion of selective education.
It was formed in the 1970s. Following Circular 10/65 in 1965, issued by the Wilson Labour government (grammar school-educated Wilson sent both his sons to the independent University College School), LEAs across the UK dismantled most grammar schools. However, many comprehensive areas have sixth form colleges (for many there is no other choice of school after 16) which are often in former grammar schools and usually have equally high standards as grammar schools at A level. The United Kingdom Independence Party publicly supports selective education.
Northern Ireland was not affected by the Circular 10/65, and has kept all its grammar schools. However there are current well-formed proposals, largely (if not solely) driven by Sinn Féin, to turn Northern Ireland comprehensive.
Academic concerns of comprehensive schools
At GCSE, comprehensive schools, on the whole, are able to get children to an adequate standard, except for most inner cities. However at A level, notably in science, comprehensive school areas weight-for-weight do not generally produce comparative results with areas with grammar schools. This may be a chicken and egg situation, because areas with grammar schools have higher average house prices.
It represents the 164 grammar schools in England and the 69 in Northern Ireland that are in existence. Two thirds of English LEAs do not have grammar schools. It produces the publication called NGSA News. It seeks to prevent the few Labour-controlled LEAs that have grammar schools from taking them into the comprehensive system. The Chairman is the former Unionist MP for North Down from 1995-2001.
- Campaign for State Education - supports the comprehensive system
- Campaign for Real Education - broadly supports the work of the NGSA