34% of respondents support setting up new grammars, YouGov found in their most recent poll about selection in September 2016. This was down 4% on August when 38% supported establishing more selective schools.
One-in-five (20%) said existing grammars should remain but no new ones should be built.
A quarter of respondents (25%) wanted existing grammars to open their doors to children of all abilities. This was up 2% since August.
22% weren’t sure.
Opinions changed when respondents were asked to imagine their child would pass the 11+ or fail. 48% said they would prefer to live in a selective area if their child would pass. 32% would prefer a comprehensive system (20% didn’t know). But the figures flipped when asked to imagine their child would fail: 50% said they’d rather live in a comprehensive area and 27% in a selective area (23% didn’t know).
YouGov found supporters of selection admitted that ‘less academically able children would be better off in a comprehensive system’.
Any government considering the best way to organise an education system must take all children into account and not just focus on a minority. A selective system gives a small advantage (half a GCSE grade) to those selected. But selection has a detrimental effect on the majority who are not selected. According to YouGov, even fans of grammars accept that.