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A story in today’s Daily Mail may be a sign of things to come for Northern Ireland Grammar Schools.


 Nearly 1,500 pupils competed for 126 places at Wallington County Grammar in Surrey. Police were called in to patrol the car park to prevent havoc.

Competition appears to have intensified during the credit crunch as parents shun private schools in favour of cheaper alternatives.

Research published by the Good Schools Guide shows that applications at almost one in five private schools have tumbled by 10 per cent in four years. The main winners appear to be academically selective schools such as Wallington County Grammar, which dominate league tables without demanding fees.

Robert McCartney QC, chairman of the National Grammar Schools Association, said that

applications across the country have risen in a ‘record year’. In Kent alone, the number of children applying has risen from just over 9,000 to 11,000.

‘Because of the poor state of the comprehensive system, they are desperate to get their children into grammar schools.’


With the current state of affairs in the Northern Ireland education system the remaining grammar schools can look forward to similar popularity so long as their admission procedures include the 11-plus equivalent