New map shows where grammar schools would be most welcome

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
September 09, 2016, 1:19 PM GMT+0

New YouGov Profiles research of more than 80,000 people reveals the most and least pro-grammar school areas of England

Theresa May announced this week that all schools in England will be given the right to select pupils by ability, overturning a ban on new grammar schools that has been in place since 1998. The Prime Minister also announced that existing grammar schools would be allowed to expand. May's move will be controversial across the length and breadth of the country, and it is not clear that she will actually be able to push the legislation required through Parliament.

New YouGov research using the profiles data of over 80,000 English people on the YouGov panel reveals the areas that are most in favour of creating more grammar schools, down to the finest detail our data will allow. There are 152 local education authorities in England, 148 of which we have large enough samples to reflect a position on grammar schools.

Whilst the correlation isn't perfect, there seems to be a broadly urban/rural divide on the popularity of grammar schools as well as a North/South split. The ten areas most anti-grammar schools are all urban areas, seven of which are in the North/Yorkshire. Nine of the of the ten most pro-grammar areas, by contrast, are in London and the South East.

There are just over 160 grammar schools left in England, but every area that has more than one grammar school is either strongly or slightly in favour of creating more. Kent, which has 33 grammar schools (20% of the national total) ranks as the 7th most pro-grammar school area. Buckinghamshire and Lincolnshire, which together host a further 28 grammar schools also rank highly. The most pro-grammar school area of the country - the London borough of Bexley - has four grammar schools.

YouGov revealed last month that nearly six in ten people (62%) would get their child to sit the entrance exam for a grammar school if there was one locally, whilst two thirds (67%) would send their child to a grammar school if they passed the exam.

Click here to launch the full interactive map and see how pro/anti grammar school your area is.