Grammar school
A grammar school is one of several different types of school
A school is an institution designed for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers. Most countries have systems of formal education, which is commonly compulsory. In these systems, students progress through a series of schools...

 in the history of education in the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and some other English-speaking countries, originally a school teaching classical languages but more recently an academically-oriented secondary school
Secondary school
Secondary school is a term used to describe an educational institution where the final stage of schooling, known as secondary education and usually compulsory up to a specified age, takes place...


The original purpose of mediaeval grammar schools was the teaching of Latin. Over time the curriculum
See also Syllabus.In formal education, a curriculum is the set of courses, and their content, offered at a school or university. As an idea, curriculum stems from the Latin word for race course, referring to the course of deeds and experiences through which children grow to become mature adults...

 was broadened, first to include Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek
Ancient Greek is the stage of the Greek language in the periods spanning the times c. 9th–6th centuries BC, , c. 5th–4th centuries BC , and the c. 3rd century BC – 6th century AD of ancient Greece and the ancient world; being predated in the 2nd millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek...

, and later English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and other European languages, natural sciences, mathematics
Mathematics is the study of quantity, space, structure, and change. Mathematicians seek out patterns and formulate new conjectures. Mathematicians resolve the truth or falsity of conjectures by mathematical proofs, which are arguments sufficient to convince other mathematicians of their validity...

, history
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

, geography
Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

, and other subjects. In the late Victorian era
Victorian era
The Victorian era of British history was the period of Queen Victoria's reign from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. It was a long period of peace, prosperity, refined sensibilities and national self-confidence...

 grammar schools were reorganised to provide secondary education throughout England and Wales; Scotland had developed a different system. Grammar schools of these types were also established in British territories overseas, where they have evolved in different ways.

Grammar schools became the selective tier of the Tripartite System
Tripartite System
The Tripartite System was the arrangement of state funded secondary education between 1944 and the 1970s in England and Wales, and from 1947 to 2009 in Northern Ireland....

 of state-funded secondary education operating in England and Wales from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s and continuing in Northern Ireland. With the move to non-selective comprehensive school
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

s in the 1960s and 1970s, some grammar schools became fully independent and charged fees, while most others were abolished or became comprehensive. In both cases, many of these schools kept "grammar school" in their names. Some parts of England retain forms of the Tripartite System, and a few grammar schools survive in otherwise comprehensive areas. Some of the remaining grammar schools can trace their histories to before the 16th century.

Early grammar schools

Although the term scolae grammaticales was not widely used until the 14th century, the earliest such schools appeared from the sixth century, e.g. the King's School, Canterbury (founded 597) and the King's School, Rochester (604).
The schools were attached to cathedrals and monasteries, teaching Latin – the language of the church – to future priests and monks. Other subjects required for religious work were occasionally added, including music and verse (for liturgy), astronomy and mathematics (for the church calendar) and law (for administration).

With the foundation of the ancient universities from the late 12th century, grammar schools became the entry point to a liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 education, with Latin seen as the foundation of the trivium. Pupils were usually educated in grammar schools up to the age of 14, after which they would look to universities and the church for further study. The first schools independent of the church – Winchester College
Winchester College
Winchester College is an independent school for boys in the British public school tradition, situated in Winchester, Hampshire, the former capital of England. It has existed in its present location for over 600 years and claims the longest unbroken history of any school in England...

 (1382) Oswestry School
Oswestry School
Oswestry School is a co-educational independent school, located in the town of Oswestry, Shropshire, England. Founded in 1407 by David Holbache and his wife Guinevere Holbache, it is the second oldest non-denominational school in England....

 (1407) and Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 (1440) – were closely tied to the universities; they were boarding school
Boarding school
A boarding school is a school where some or all pupils study and live during the school year with their fellow students and possibly teachers and/or administrators. The word 'boarding' is used in the sense of "bed and board," i.e., lodging and meals...

s, so could educate pupils from anywhere in the nation.
An example of an early grammar school founded by a medieval borough corporation unconnected with church or university is Bridgnorth Grammar School, founded in 1503 by Bridgnorth Borough Corporation.

During the English Reformation
English Reformation
The English Reformation was the series of events in 16th-century England by which the Church of England broke away from the authority of the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church....

 in the 16th century, most cathedral schools were closed and replaced by new foundations funded from the dissolution of the monasteries
Dissolution of the Monasteries
The Dissolution of the Monasteries, sometimes referred to as the Suppression of the Monasteries, was the set of administrative and legal processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded monasteries, priories, convents and friaries in England, Wales and Ireland; appropriated their...

. For example, the oldest extant schools in Wales – Christ College, Brecon
Christ College, Brecon
Christ College, Brecon is a co-educational, boarding and day independent school, located in the market town of Brecon in mid-Wales. It caters for pupils from eleven to eighteen.Christ College was founded by Royal Charter in 1541 by King Henry VIII...

 (founded 1541) and the Friars School, Bangor
Friars School, Bangor
Ysgol Friars is a comprehensive school in Bangor, Gwynedd, and one of the oldest schools in Wales.-1557 Establishment:The school was founded by Geoffrey Glyn, Doctor of Laws, who had been brought up in Anglesey and had followed a career in law in London....

 (1557) – were established on the sites of former Dominican
Dominican Order
The Order of Preachers , after the 15th century more commonly known as the Dominican Order or Dominicans, is a Catholic religious order founded by Saint Dominic and approved by Pope Honorius III on 22 December 1216 in France...

 monasteries. King Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

 made an important contribution to grammar schools, founding a series of schools during his reign (see King Edward's School), and King James I
James I of England
James VI and I was King of Scots as James VI from 24 July 1567 and King of England and Ireland as James I from the union of the English and Scottish crowns on 24 March 1603...

 founded a series of "Royal Schools" in Ulster, beginning with the Royal School, Armagh. In theory these schools were open to all and offered free tuition to those who could not pay fees; however, few poor children attended school, because their labour was economically valuable to their families.

In the Scottish Reformation
Scottish Reformation
The Scottish Reformation was Scotland's formal break with the Papacy in 1560, and the events surrounding this. It was part of the wider European Protestant Reformation; and in Scotland's case culminated ecclesiastically in the re-establishment of the church along Reformed lines, and politically in...

 schools such as the Choir School of Glasgow Cathedral
High School of Glasgow
The High School of Glasgow is an independent, co-educational day school in Glasgow, Scotland. Founded as the Choir School of Glasgow Cathedral in around 1124, it is the oldest school in Scotland, and the twelfth oldest in the United Kingdom. It remained part of the Church as the city's grammar...

 (founded 1124) and the Grammar School of the Church of Edinburgh
Royal High School (Edinburgh)
The Royal High School of Edinburgh is a co-educational state school administered by the City of Edinburgh Council. The school was founded in 1128 and is one of the oldest schools in Scotland, and has, throughout its history, been high achieving, consistently attaining well above average exam results...

 (1128) passed from church control to burgh
A burgh was an autonomous corporate entity in Scotland and Northern England, usually a town. This type of administrative division existed from the 12th century, when King David I created the first royal burghs. Burgh status was broadly analogous to borough status, found in the rest of the United...

 councils, and the burghs also founded new schools.

With the increased emphasis on studying the scriptures after the Reformation, many schools added Greek and, in a few cases, Hebrew. The teaching of these languages was hampered by a shortage of non-Latin type and of teachers fluent in the languages.

During the 16th and 17th centuries the setting up of grammar schools became a common act of charity by nobles, wealthy merchants and guild
A guild is an association of craftsmen in a particular trade. The earliest types of guild were formed as confraternities of workers. They were organized in a manner something between a trade union, a cartel, and a secret society...

s; for example Spalding Grammar School
Spalding Grammar School
Spalding Grammar School, or as it is fully known The Queen Elizabeth Royal Free Grammar School Spalding, is a selective school on Priory Road in Spalding, Lincolnshire for pupils aged 11–18.- History :...

, founded by John Gamlyn and John Blanche in 1588, and Blundell's School
Blundell's School
Blundell's School is a co-educational day and boarding independent school located in the town of Tiverton in the county of Devon, England. The school was founded in 1604 by the will of Peter Blundell, one of the richest men in England at the time, and relocated to its present location on the...

, founded in 1604 by wealthy Tiverton merchant Peter Blundell
Peter Blundell
Peter Blundell was a prosperous clothier, trading between Tiverton and London. He died in April 1601, never having married and with no known issue. On his death, he left over £32,000 cash to fellow clothiers and their families, his employees, created several charitable trusts, and gave £2400 to...

. Many of these are still commemorated in annual "Founder's Day" services and ceremonies at surviving schools. The usual pattern was to create an endowment to pay the wages of a master to instruct local boys in Latin and sometimes Greek without charge.

The dawn-to-dusk teaching was mostly the rote learning
Rote learning
Rote learning is a learning technique which focuses on memorization. The major practice involved in rote learning is learning by repetition by which students commit information to memory in a highly structured way. The idea is that one will be able to quickly recall the meaning of the material the...

 of Latin. To encourage fluency, some schoolmasters recommended punishing any pupil who spoke in English. Pupils took several years to learn to construct a sentence in Latin, and did not learn to translate passages until their final years at the school. By the end of their studies, they would be quite familiar with the great Latin authors, drama and rhetoric. Other skills, such as numeracy and handwriting, were neglected, being taught in odd moments or by travelling specialist teachers such as scrivener
A scrivener was traditionally a person who could read and write. This usually indicated secretarial and administrative duties such as dictation and keeping business, judicial, and history records for kings, nobles, temples, and cities...


In 1755 Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

's Dictionary defined a grammar school as a school in which the learned languages are grammatically taught;
However, by this time demand for these languages had fallen greatly. A new commercial class required modern languages and commercial subjects. Most grammar schools founded in the 18th century also taught arithmetic and English. In Scotland, the burgh councils updated the curricula of their schools so that Scotland no longer has grammar schools in any of the senses discussed here, though some, such as Aberdeen Grammar School
Aberdeen Grammar School
Aberdeen Grammar School, known to students as The Grammar is a state secondary school in the City of Aberdeen, Scotland. It is one of twelve secondary schools run by the Aberdeen City Council educational department...

, retain the name.

In England, urban middle-class pressure for a commercial curriculum was often supported by the school's trustees (who would charge the new students fees), but resisted by the schoolmaster, supported by the terms of the original endowment. Very few schools were able to obtain special acts of Parliament to change their statutes; examples are the Macclesfield Grammar School
The King's School, Macclesfield
-Notable former pupils:* Peter Moores, ex-England Cricket Coach* Rev. Thomas Taylor, priest and historian* Alan Beith, politician* Jon Craig, Chief Political Correspondent of Sky News...

 Act 1774 and the Bolton Grammar School
Bolton School
Bolton School is an independent day school in Bolton, in the North-West of England. It comprises a co-educational Nursery and Infant School and single sex Junior and Senior Schools . With almost 2,400 pupils it is one of the largest independent day schools in the country.-History:Bolton School...

 Act 1788. Such a dispute between the trustees and master of Leeds Grammar School
Leeds Grammar School
Leeds Grammar School was an independent school in Leeds established in 1552. In August 2005 it merged with Leeds Girls' High School to form The Grammar School at Leeds. The two schools physically united in September 2008....

 led to a celebrated case in the Court of Chancery
Court of Chancery
The Court of Chancery was a court of equity in England and Wales that followed a set of loose rules to avoid the slow pace of change and possible harshness of the common law. The Chancery had jurisdiction over all matters of equity, including trusts, land law, the administration of the estates of...

. After 10 years, Lord Eldon
John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon
John Scott, 1st Earl of Eldon PC KC FRS FSA was a British barrister and politician. He served as Lord Chancellor of Great Britain between 1801 and 1806 and again between 1807 and 1827.- Background and education :...

, then Lord Chancellor
Lord Chancellor
The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, or Lord Chancellor, is a senior and important functionary in the government of the United Kingdom. He is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking only after the Lord High Steward. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign...

, ruled in 1805, "There is no authority for thus changing the nature of the Charity, and filling a School intended for the purpose of teaching Greek and Latin with Scholars learning the German and French languages, mathematics, and anything except Greek and Latin." Although he offered a compromise by which some subjects might be added to a classical core, the ruling set a restrictive precedent for grammar schools across England; they seemed to be in terminal decline.

Victorian grammar schools

The 19th century saw a series of reforms to grammar schools, culminating in the Endowed Schools Act 1869
Endowed Schools Act 1869
The Endowed Schools Act 1869 was introduced in Britain during William Ewart Gladstone’s first ministry.An Endowed Schools Commission was created to draw up new schemes of distribution for schools which received funding from the government; previous endowments had been seen as poorly distributed and...

. Grammar schools were reinvented as academically-oriented secondary schools following literary or scientific curricula, while often retaining classical subjects.

The Grammar Schools Act 1840 made it lawful to apply the income of grammar schools to purposes other than the teaching of classical languages, but change still required the consent of the schoolmaster. At the same time, the national schools were reorganising themselves along the lines of Thomas Arnold
Thomas Arnold
Dr Thomas Arnold was a British educator and historian. Arnold was an early supporter of the Broad Church Anglican movement...

's reforms at Rugby School
Rugby School
Rugby School is a co-educational day and boarding school located in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, England. It is one of the oldest independent schools in Britain.-History:...

, and the spread of the railways led to new boarding schools teaching a broader curriculum, such as Marlborough College
Marlborough College
Marlborough College is a British co-educational independent school for day and boarding pupils, located in Marlborough, Wiltshire.Founded in 1843 for the education of the sons of Church of England clergy, the school now accepts both boys and girls of all beliefs. Currently there are just over 800...

 (1843). The first girls' schools targeted at university entrance were North London Collegiate School
North London Collegiate School
North London Collegiate School is an independent day school for girls founded in 1850 in Camden Town, and now in the London Borough of Harrow.The Good Schools Guide called the school an "Academically stunning outer London school in a glorious setting which, in 2003, demonstrated its refusal to rest...

 (1850) and Cheltenham Ladies' College
Cheltenham Ladies' College
The Cheltenham Ladies' College is an independent boarding and day school for girls aged 11 to 18 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.-History:The school was founded in 1853...

 (from the appointment of Dorothea Beale
Dorothea Beale
Dorothea Beale LLD was a suffragist, educational reformer, author and Principal of the Cheltenham Ladies' College.Born in Bishopsgate, England, she was the founder of St Hilda's College, Oxford....

 in 1858).

Modelled on the Clarendon Commission
Clarendon Commission
Following complaints about the finances, buildings and management of Eton College the Clarendon Commission, a Royal Commission, was set up in 1861 to investigate the state of nine leading schools in England at the time. The Clarendon Report was published in 1864 with general recommendations on the...

, which led to the Public Schools Act 1868
Public Schools Act 1868
The Public Schools Act 1868 was enacted by the British Parliament to reform and regulate nine of the leading English boys' schools. They were described as "public schools" as admission was open to boys from anywhere and was not limited to those living in a particular locality...

 which restructured the trusts of nine leading schools (including Eton College
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

, Harrow School
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

 and Charterhouse School
Charterhouse School
Charterhouse School, originally The Hospital of King James and Thomas Sutton in Charterhouse, or more simply Charterhouse or House, is an English collegiate independent boarding school situated at Godalming in Surrey.Founded by Thomas Sutton in London in 1611 on the site of the old Carthusian...

), the Taunton Commission was appointed to examine the remaining 782 endowed grammar schools. The commission reported that the distribution of schools did not match the current population, and that provision varied greatly in quality, with provision for girls being particularly limited. The commission proposed the creation of a national system of secondary education by restructuring the endowments of these schools for modern purposes. The result was the Endowed Schools Act 1869
Endowed Schools Act 1869
The Endowed Schools Act 1869 was introduced in Britain during William Ewart Gladstone’s first ministry.An Endowed Schools Commission was created to draw up new schemes of distribution for schools which received funding from the government; previous endowments had been seen as poorly distributed and...

, which created the Endowed Schools Commission with extensive powers over endowments of individual schools. It was said that the commission "could turn a boys' school in Northumberland into a girls' school in Cornwall". Across England and Wales schools endowed to offer free classical instruction to boys were remodelled as fee-paying schools (with a few competitive scholarships) teaching broad curricula to boys or girls.

In the Victorian period there was a great emphasis on the importance of self-improvement, and parents keen for their children to receive a decent education organised the creation of new schools with modern curricula, though often retaining a classical core. These newer schools tended to emulate the great public schools
Public School (UK)
A public school, in common British usage, is a school that is neither administered nor financed by the state or from taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees and charitable contributions, usually existing as a non profit-making charitable trust...

, copying their curriculum, ethos and ambitions, and often took the title "grammar school" for historical reasons. A girls' grammar school established in a town with an older boys' grammar school would often be named a "high school".

Under the Education (Administrative Provisions) Act 1907
Education (Administrative Provisions) Act 1907
The 1907 Education Act was an Act of Parliament passed by the Liberal government as part of their Liberal reforms package of welfare reforms. The Act set up school medical services run by local government....

 all grant-aided secondary schools were required to provide at least 25 percent of their places as free scholarships for students from public elementary schools. Grammar schools thus emerged as one part of the highly varied education system of England and Wales before 1944.

Grammar schools in the Tripartite System

The 1944 Education Act
Education Act 1944
The Education Act 1944 changed the education system for secondary schools in England and Wales. This Act, commonly named after the Conservative politician R.A...

 created the first nationwide system of state-funded secondary education in England and Wales, echoed by the Education (Northern Ireland) Act 1947. One of the three types of school forming the Tripartite System
Tripartite System
The Tripartite System was the arrangement of state funded secondary education between 1944 and the 1970s in England and Wales, and from 1947 to 2009 in Northern Ireland....

 was called the grammar school, which sought to spread the academic ethos of the existing grammar schools. Grammar schools were intended to teach an academic curriculum to the most intellectually able 25 percent of the school population, selected by the eleven plus
Eleven plus
In the United Kingdom, the 11-plus or Eleven plus is an examination administered to some students in their last year of primary education, governing admission to various types of secondary school. The name derives from the age group for secondary entry: 11–12 years...


Two types of grammar schools existed under the system:
  • There were more than 1,200 maintained grammar schools, which were fully state-funded. Though some were quite old, most were either newly created or built since the Victorian period, seeking to replicate the studious, aspirational atmosphere found in the older grammar schools.
  • There were also 179 direct-grant grammar schools, which took between one quarter and one half of their pupils from the state system, and the rest from fee-paying parents. They also exercised far greater freedom from local authorities, and were members of the Headmasters' Conference. These schools included some very old schools encouraged to participate in the Tripartite System. The most famous example of a direct-grant grammar was Manchester Grammar School
    Manchester Grammar School
    The Manchester Grammar School is the largest independent day school for boys in the UK . It is based in Manchester, England...

    , whose headmaster, Lord James of Rusholme
    Eric James, Baron James of Rusholme
    Eric John Francis James, Baron James of Rusholme was a prominent British educator.He was educated at York Place Secondary School, Brighton, Taunton's School, Southampton and Queen's College, Oxford. He taught science at Winchester College from 1933 to 1945, and was High Master of The Manchester...

    , was one of the most outspoken advocates of the Tripartite System.

Grammar school pupils were given the best opportunities of any schoolchildren in the state system. Initially, they studied for the School Certificate
School Certificate (UK)
The School Certificate was a United Kingdom educational attainment standard qualification, established in 1918. The School Certificate Examination was usually taken at age 16 and it was necessary to pass Mathematics, English and other subjects in order to gain the certificate...

 and Higher School Certificate
Higher School Certificate (UK)
The Higher School Certificate was a United Kingdom educational attainment standard qualification, established in 1918 by the Secondary Schools Examination Council . The Higher School Certificate Examination was usually taken at age 18, or two years after the School Certificate. It was abolished...

, replaced in 1951 by General Certificate of Education
General Certificate of Education
The General Certificate of Education or GCE is an academic qualification that examination boards in the United Kingdom and a few of the Commonwealth countries, notably Sri Lanka, confer to students. The GCE traditionally comprised two levels: the Ordinary Level and the Advanced Level...

 examinations at O-level
Ordinary Level
The O-level is a subject-based qualification conferred as part of the General Certificate of Education . It was introduced as part of British educational reform in the 1950s alongside the more in-depth and academically rigorous Advanced Level in England, Wales and Northern Ireland A-level...

 (Ordinary level) and A-level (Advanced level). In contrast, very few students at secondary modern school
Secondary modern school
A secondary modern school is a type of secondary school that existed in most of the United Kingdom from 1944 until the early 1970s, under the Tripartite System, and was designed for the majority of pupils - those who do not achieve scores in the top 25% of the eleven plus examination...

s took public examinations until the introduction of the less-academic Certificate of Secondary Education
Certificate of Secondary Education
The Certificate of Secondary Education was a school leaving qualification awarded between 1965 and 1987 in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland....

 (known as the CSE) in the 1960s. Until the implementation of the Robbins Report
Robbins Report
The Robbins Report was commissioned by the British government and published in 1963. The Committee met from 1961 to 1963...

 in the 1960s, children from public and grammar schools effectively monopolised access to universities. These schools were also the only ones that offered an extra term of school to prepare pupils for the competitive entrance exams for Oxbridge
Oxbridge is a portmanteau of the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in England, and the term is now used to refer to them collectively, often with implications of perceived superior social status...


The Tripartite System was largely abolished in England and Wales between 1965, with the issue of Circular 10/65
Circular 10/65
Circular 10/65 is a Government circular issued in 1965 by the Department of Education and Science requesting Local Education Authorities in England and Wales to begin converting their secondary schools to the Comprehensive System. For most of England and Wales, it marked the abolition of the old...

, and the 1976 Education Act. Most maintained grammar schools were amalgamated with a number of other local schools, to form neighbourhood comprehensive school
Comprehensive school
A comprehensive school is a state school that does not select its intake on the basis of academic achievement or aptitude. This is in contrast to the selective school system, where admission is restricted on the basis of a selection criteria. The term is commonly used in relation to the United...

s, though a few were closed. This process proceeded quickly in Wales, with the closure of such schools as Cowbridge Grammar School
Cowbridge Grammar School
Cowbridge Grammar School was one of the best-known schools in Wales until its closure in 1974. It was replaced by a comprehensive school.Founded in the 17th century by Sir John Stradling and refounded by Sir Leoline Jenkins, it had close links with Jesus College, Oxford. The school took both...

. In England, implementation was more uneven, with some counties and individual schools resisting the change.

The Direct Grant Grammar Schools (Cessation of Grant) Regulations 1975 forced these schools to decide whether to convert into comprehensives under local authority control or become entirely independent schools funded by fees. Fifty-one direct grant schools chose to become comprehensives, 119 opted for independence, and five were "not accepted for the maintained system and expected to become independent schools or to close". There are thus many schools with the name "grammar" that are no longer free. These schools normally select their pupils by an entrance examination and sometimes by interview.

By the end of the 1980s, all of the grammar schools in Wales and most of those in England had closed or become comprehensive. Selection also disappeared from state-funded schools in Scotland in the same period. While many former grammar schools ceased to be selective, some of them retained the word "grammar" in their name. Most of these schools remain comprehensive, while a few became partially selective
Partially selective school (England)
In England, a partially selective school is one of a few dozen state-funded secondary schools that select a proportion of their intake by ability or aptitude, permitted as a continuation of arrangements that existed prior to 1997....

 or fully selective in the 1990s.

Contemporary British grammar schools

Today, "grammar school" commonly refers to one of the remaining fully selective state-funded schools in England and Northern Ireland.
The National Grammar Schools Association campaigns in favour of such schools, while Comprehensive Future and the Campaign for State Education campaign against them.


At the 1995 Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 conference, David Blunkett
David Blunkett
David Blunkett is a British Labour Party politician and the Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough, having represented Sheffield Brightside from 1987 to 2010...

, then education spokesman, promised that there would be no selection under a Labour government. However the party's manifesto for the 1997 election promised that "Any changes in the admissions policies of grammar schools will be decided by local parents." Under the Labour government's School Standards and Framework Act 1998
School Standards and Framework Act 1998
The School Standards and Framework Act 1998 was the major education legislation passed by the incoming Labour government of Tony Blair.This Act:* imposed a limit of 30 on infant class sizes....

, grammar schools were for the first time to be designated by statutory instrument
Statutory Instrument
A Statutory Instrument is the principal form in which delegated or secondary legislation is made in Great Britain.Statutory Instruments are governed by the Statutory Instruments Act 1946. They replaced Statutory Rules and Orders, made under the Rules Publication Act 1893, in 1948.Most delegated...

. The Act also defined a procedure by which local communities could petition for a ballot for an end to selection at schools. Petitions were launched in several areas, but only one received the signatures of 20% of eligible parents, the level needed to trigger a ballot. Thus the only ballot held to date was for Ripon Grammar School
Ripon Grammar School
Ripon Grammar School is a co-educational, selective, state secondary grammar school and specialist engineering college located in Ripon, North Yorkshire, England...

 in 2000, when parents rejected change by a ratio of 2 to 1. These arrangements were condemned by the Select Committee for Education and Skills as being ineffective and a waste of time and resources.

There are still 164 state-run grammar schools in existence. Only a few areas keep a formal grammar school system along the lines of the Tripartite System. In these areas, the eleven plus exam is used solely to identify a subset of children (around 25%) considered suitable for grammar education. When a grammar school has too many qualified applicants, other criteria are used to allocate places, such as siblings, distance or faith. Such systems still exist in Buckinghamshire, Rugby and Stratford districts of Warwickshire, the Salisbury district of Wiltshire, Gloucester and Stroud in Gloucestershire and most of Lincolnshire, Kent and Medway.
Of metropolitan areas, Trafford and most of Wirral are selective.

In other areas, grammar schools survive mainly as very highly selective schools in an otherwise comprehensive county, for example in several of the outer boroughs of London. In some LEAs
Local Education Authority
A local education authority is a local authority in England and Wales that has responsibility for education within its jurisdiction...

, as few as 2% of 11 year olds may attend grammar schools. These schools are often heavily over-subscribed, and award places in rank order of performance in their entry tests. They also tend to dominate the top positions in performance tables.

No further radical change is proposed by either of the main political parties.
Although many on the left argue that the existence of selective schools undermines the comprehensive structure, the Labour government has delegated decisions on grammar schools to local processes, which have not yet resulted in any changes.
Moreover government education policy appears to accept the existence of some kind of hierarchy in secondary education, with specialist school
Specialist school
The specialist schools programme was a UK government initiative which encouraged secondary schools in England to specialise in certain areas of the curriculum to boost achievement. The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust was responsible for the delivery of the programme...

s, advanced schools, beacon school
Beacon School
Beacon School was a government designation awarded to outstanding primary and secondary schools in England and Wales from 1998 to August 2005. The Beacon Schools programme identified schools that were examples of good practice and funded those schools to enable them to build partnerships with each...

s and similar initiatives proposed as ways of raising standards.
Many grammar schools have featured in these programmes, and a lower level of selection is permitted at specialist schools.
Though many in the Conservative Party favour the expansion of grammar schools, since 2006 the Party's policy has been that no new grammar schools will be built, except to cope with population expansion in wholly selective areas such as Buckinghamshire and Kent.
David Willetts
David Willetts
David Linsay Willetts is a British Conservative Party politician and the Minister of State for Universities and Science. He is the Member of Parliament representing the constituency of Havant in Hampshire.-Education:...

, former shadow education secretary, argued that because middle-class parents now invest so much in preparing their children for the tests, grammar schools no longer offer opportunities to gifted children from poorer backgrounds.

The development of academy schools in England has reinvigorated the debate on selection, since it is sometimes argued (see academy schools) that some academies are using covert pupil selection.

Northern Ireland

Attempts to move to a comprehensive system (as in the rest of the United Kingdom) have been delayed by shifts in the administration of Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland is one of the four countries of the United Kingdom. Situated in the north-east of the island of Ireland, it shares a border with the Republic of Ireland to the south and west...

As a result, Northern Ireland still maintains the grammar school system with most pupils being entered for the Eleven Plus
Eleven plus
In the United Kingdom, the 11-plus or Eleven plus is an examination administered to some students in their last year of primary education, governing admission to various types of secondary school. The name derives from the age group for secondary entry: 11–12 years...

Since the "open enrolment" reform of 1989, these schools (unlike those in England) have been required to accept pupils up to their capacity, which has also increased.
By 2006, the 69 grammar schools took 42% of transferring children, and only 7 of them took all of their intake from the top 30% of the cohort.

The 11-plus has long been controversial, and Northern Ireland's political parties have taken opposing positions. Unionists tend to lean towards preserving the grammar schools as they are, with academic selection at the age of 11, whereas republican politicians lean towards scrapping the Eleven Plus, despite vehement protestations from the majority of Catholic Grammar Schools, most notably by the board of governors at Rathmore Grammar in Finaghy, (a south Belfast suburb) and Lumen Christi (although co-educational) in Londonderry. The Democratic Unionist Party
Democratic Unionist Party
The Democratic Unionist Party is the larger of the two main unionist political parties in Northern Ireland. Founded by Ian Paisley and currently led by Peter Robinson, it is currently the largest party in the Northern Ireland Assembly and the fourth-largest party in the House of Commons of the...

 claimed to have ensured the continuation of the grammar school system in the Province as part of the St Andrews Agreement
St Andrews Agreement
The St Andrews Agreement was an agreement between the British and Irish Governments and the political parties in relation to the devolution of power to Northern Ireland...

 in October 2006. By contrast Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin
Sinn Féin is a left wing, Irish republican political party in Ireland. The name is Irish for "ourselves" or "we ourselves", although it is frequently mistranslated as "ourselves alone". Originating in the Sinn Féin organisation founded in 1905 by Arthur Griffith, it took its current form in 1970...

 claims to have secured the abolition of the 11+ and a veto over any system which might follow it.

The last government-run 11-plus exam was held in 2008 (for 2009 entry),
but the Northern Ireland Assembly
Northern Ireland Assembly
The Northern Ireland Assembly is the devolved legislature of Northern Ireland. It has power to legislate in a wide range of areas that are not explicitly reserved to the Parliament of the United Kingdom, and to appoint the Northern Ireland Executive...

 has not been able to agree on a replacement system for secondary transfer.
The grammar schools have organised groupings to run their own tests, the Post-Primary Transfer Consortium (mostly Catholic schools) and the Association for Quality Education.
The Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education has accepted continued selection at Catholic grammar schools as a temporary measure, but wishes them to end the practice by 2012.

Grammar schools in other countries

Grammar schools were established in various British territories, and have developed in different ways since those territories became independent.


In the mid-19th century, private schools were established in the Australian colonies to spare the wealthy classes from sending their sons to schools in Britain.
These schools took their inspiration from English public schools
Public School (UK)
A public school, in common British usage, is a school that is neither administered nor financed by the state or from taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees and charitable contributions, usually existing as a non profit-making charitable trust...

, and often called themselves "grammar schools".
Early examples include Launceston Church Grammar School
Launceston Church Grammar School
Launceston Church Grammar School is a co-educational private school in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia for years kindergarten through to Year 12....

 (1846), Pulteney Grammar School
Pulteney Grammar School
Pulteney Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, co-educational, day school, located on South Terrace in Adelaide, South Australia.- History :...

 (1847), Geelong Grammar School
Geelong Grammar School
Geelong Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, co-educational, boarding and day school. The school's main campus is located at Corio, on the northern outskirts of Geelong, Victoria, Australia, overlooking Corio Bay and Limeburners Bay....

 (1855) and Melbourne Grammar School
Melbourne Grammar School
Melbourne Grammar School is an independent, Anglican, day and boarding school predominantly for boys, located in South Yarra and Caulfield, suburbs of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia....

With the exception of the non-denominational Sydney Grammar School
Sydney Grammar School
Sydney Grammar School is an independent, non-denominational, selective, day school for boys, located in Darlinghurst, Edgecliff and St Ives, all suburbs of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia....

 (1857) and Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

 grammar schools, all the grammar schools established in the 19th century were attached to the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

 (now the Anglican Church of Australia
Anglican Church of Australia
The Anglican Church of Australia is a member church of the Anglican Communion. It was previously officially known as the Church of England in Australia and Tasmania...

In Queensland, the Grammar Schools Act 1860 provided for the state-assisted foundation of non-denominational grammar schools.
Ten were founded, of which 8 still exist.
The first Australian grammar school for girls was Brisbane Girls' Grammar School (1875); others soon followed.

In the 1920s grammar schools of other denominations were established, including members of the Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria
Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria
The Associated Grammar Schools of Victoria are a group of nine independent schools in Victoria, Australia, formed in 1920. The AGSV provides the basis for interschool sporting competition between the nine member schools in a range of sports....

, and the trend has continued to the present day.
Today, the term is defined only in Queensland legislation.
Throughout the country, "grammar schools" are generally high-cost private schools.
The equivalent of contemporary English grammar schools are selective school
Selective school
A selective school is a school that admits students on the basis of some sort of selection criteria, usually academic. The term may have different connotations in different systems....



Grammar schools provided secondary education in Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 until 1871.

The first lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada
Upper Canada
The Province of Upper Canada was a political division in British Canada established in 1791 by the British Empire to govern the central third of the lands in British North America and to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States of America after the American Revolution...

, John Graves Simcoe
John Graves Simcoe
John Graves Simcoe was a British army officer and the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada from 1791–1796. Then frontier, this was modern-day southern Ontario and the watersheds of Georgian Bay and Lake Superior...

, advocated grammar schools for the colony to save the wealthy from sending their sons to the United States to be educated, but was unable to convince his superiors in London.
He did however make a grant enabling John Stuart to set up Kingston Grammar School
Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute
Kingston Collegiate and Vocational Institute is a secondary school in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Founded in 1792 by Reverend John Stuart based upon a grant for secondary education in the colony of Upper Canada, it moved to its present location in 1892. It is considered the oldest public secondary...

 in 1795.
After several abortive attempts to raise funding, the District Schools Act of 1807 provided support for one grammar school teacher in each district (of which there were then eight), but they were then left to their own devices.
Finding the grammar schools unsuitable as preparation for university,
lieutenant-governor Sir John Colborne founded Upper Canada College
Upper Canada College
Upper Canada College , located in midtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada, is an independent elementary and secondary school for boys between Senior Kindergarten and Grade Twelve, operating under the International Baccalaureate program. The secondary school segment is divided into ten houses; eight are...

as a superior grammar school.

Legislation in 1839 allowed for more than one grammar school in a district, triggering a rapid but unstructured growth in numbers over the following two decades, rising to 86 in 1861.
The schools became more independent of the Church of England
Church of England
The Church of England is the officially established Christian church in England and the Mother Church of the worldwide Anglican Communion. The church considers itself within the tradition of Western Christianity and dates its formal establishment principally to the mission to England by St...

, and also began to admit girls.
However the schools were unsupervised, often underfunded and of varying standards.
Some, like Tassie's School
Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School
Galt Collegiate Institute and Vocational School is one of sixteen secondary schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board, located in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada....

 in Galt provided a traditional classical education, while many provided a basic education of poor quality.
Chief Superintendent of Education Egerton Ryerson
Egerton Ryerson
Adolphus Egerton Ryerson was a Methodist minister, educator, politician, and public education advocate in early Ontario, Canada...

 attempted to reform the schools in the 1850s and 1860s, moving control of the schools from counties (the former districts) to city authorities, securing their funding and introducing inspectors.
However his efforts to convert the schools into classical schools for boys only were unsuccessful.
In recognition of the broad curricula offered, grammar schools were re-designated as high schools by the Act to Improve the Common and Grammar Schools of the Province of Ontario of 1871.
Schools able to offer classical studies were given additional funding as collegiate institutes.

Hong Kong

In Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

, grammar schools are secondary schools primarily offering a traditional curriculum (rather than vocational subjects).

Republic of Ireland

Education in the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 has traditionally been organised on denomination
Christian denomination
A Christian denomination is an identifiable religious body under a common name, structure, and doctrine within Christianity. In the Orthodox tradition, Churches are divided often along ethnic and linguistic lines, into separate churches and traditions. Technically, divisions between one group and...

al lines. Grammar schools along the lines of those in Great Britain were set up for members of the Church of Ireland
Church of Ireland
The Church of Ireland is an autonomous province of the Anglican Communion. The church operates in all parts of Ireland and is the second largest religious body on the island after the Roman Catholic Church...

 prior to its disestablishment in 1871. Some schools remain, as private schools catering largely for Protestant students. These are often fee-paying and accommodate boarders, given the scattered nature of the Protestant population in much of Ireland. Such schools include Bandon Grammar School
Bandon Grammar School
Bandon Grammar School is a secondary school situated in Bandon, Co Cork, Republic of Ireland. It is primarily a Church of Ireland school. Its current principal is David Sutton.- Official School Message :...

, Drogheda Grammar School
Drogheda Grammar School
Drogheda Grammar School is a co-educational, multi-denominational boarding and day school, located on the Mornington Road, Drogheda, County Louth, Ireland....

, Dundalk Grammar School
Dundalk Grammar School
Dundalk Grammar School, is a fee paying post-primary school in Dundalk, County Louth. The school is a mixed school, it offers weekly boarding to students...

 and Sligo Grammar School
Sligo Grammar School
"Sligo Grammar School" is a private fee paying co-educational boarding school located on "The Mall" in Sligo Town.The school has approximately 449 students of which approximately 103 are boarders. It offers the traditional Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate courses along with Transition...

. Others are among the many former fee-paying schools which have been absorbed into larger state-funded Community Schools, Community Colleges, and Comprehensive Schools, founded since the introduction of universal secondary education in the Republic by minister Donogh O'Malley in September 1967. Examples include Cork
Cork (city)
Cork is the second largest city in the Republic of Ireland and the island of Ireland's third most populous city. It is the principal city and administrative centre of County Cork and the largest city in the province of Munster. Cork has a population of 119,418, while the addition of the suburban...

 Grammar School, replaced by Ashton Comprehensive School.


Malaysia has a number of grammar schools, a majority of which were set up before its independence from the UK. Virtually every state in Malaysia had a grammar school, among the best known being the Penang Free School
Penang Free School
Penang Free School is a secondary school located on Jalan Masjid Negeri , George Town, Penang, Malaysia. Although the medium of instruction is now Malay, Penang Free School was the first English-medium school in South East Asia. It is widely recognised as one of Penang's premier schools and alumni...

, the Victoria Institution
Victoria Institution
Victoria Institution is a premier secondary school for boys and one of the oldest schools in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The school is widely known as V.I. and a student of Victoria Institution bears the name Victorian....

 (Kuala Lumpur), the Malay College Kuala Kangsar
Malay College Kuala Kangsar
The Malay College Kuala Kangsar is a residential school in Malaysia. It is an all-boys and all-Malay school located in the royal town of Kuala Kangsar, Perak...

, the English College (Johor Bahru) and the King George V School (Seremban). Mission schools set up by various Christian denominations, but principally the Catholic Church, paralleled the state grammar schools albeit not with the same degree of selectivity. Prior to Malaysian independence in 1957, the best schools for girls were almost all mission schools. In the 1970s, the medium of instruction was changed from English to Malay
Malay language
Malay is a major language of the Austronesian family. It is the official language of Malaysia , Indonesia , Brunei and Singapore...



Oman , officially called the Sultanate of Oman , is an Arab state in southwest Asia on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is bordered by the United Arab Emirates to the northwest, Saudi Arabia to the west, and Yemen to the southwest. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea on the...

 retains a number of grammar schools of international renown and a majority of which are private educational establishments offering Classics beyond Latin and Greek to include the ancient literary studies of Sanskrit, Hebrew and Arabic. Notable ones include the American British Academy
American British Academy
The American-British Academy, established in September 1987, is in the city of Muscat, Oman and is one of the premier international schools in the Persian Gulf region. It is a private-non-profit-co-educational-day school that offers a demanding K-12 English-language curriculum to expatriate...

, the British School Muscat
British School - Muscat
The British School – Muscat is a co-educational, non-profit, non-selective private day school in Muscat, Oman. It was established in 1971, under Royal Charter by his Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said. In 2003, his Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, on a visit to the school described it as...

, the Indian School Al Ghubra
Indian School Al Ghubra
The Indian School Al-Ghubra is an independent, co-educational private day school located in the city of Muscat in the Sultanate of Oman. The educational establishment was founded in July 1990 by Indian born Omani businessman Dr. P. Muhammad Ali, who is the Managing Director of Galfar Engineering...

 and The Sultan's School
The Sultan's School
The Sultan's School has been the premier private school in the Sultanate of Oman for over 31 years. It was established in 1977 under the sponsorship of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said. Located in Seeb, it is situated on a spacious 250,000 square metre campus...

 (also see List of Private Schools in Oman).


The most famous schools in Singapore for the scion of the rich and famous within South-east Asia are the Methodists schools, mainly Anglo-Chinese School
Anglo-Chinese School
The Anglo-Chinese School ; is a family of Methodist schools in Singapore, and Indonesia.The name is usually abbreviated as "ACS", with the junior college as "ACJC", and its students and alumni referred to as "ACSians" , or "ACS boys" .ACS was the first school...

, known as ACS and Methodist Girls' School (MGS).
When Singapore
Singapore , officially the Republic of Singapore, is a Southeast Asian city-state off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, north of the equator. An island country made up of 63 islands, it is separated from Malaysia by the Straits of Johor to its north and from Indonesia's Riau Islands by the...

 was a British colony, English missionaries set up grammar schools such as the Raffles Institution
Raffles Institution
Raffles Institution , founded in 1823, is the oldest centre for pre-tertiary learning in Singapore. It is an independent school in Singapore providing secondary and pre-university education. RI consists of a boys-only secondary section , and a coeducational pre-university section...

 (1823), Saint Joseph's Institution
Saint Joseph's Institution
Saint Joseph's Institution is a Catholic secondary school for male students in Singapore. It was founded in 1852 as "Saint John's Institution", and is the third oldest educational institution in Singapore .SJI provides an education to boys of all races and...

 (1852), Raffles Girls' School
Raffles Girls' School (Secondary)
Raffles Girls' School is an independent girls' secondary school in Singapore. RGS was recognised by the Ministry of Education in 2006 by being awarded the School Excellence Award , among other awards...

 (1879) and Canossa Convent
Saint Anthony's Canossian Secondary School
St. Anthony's Canossian Secondary School is an girls' secondary school located in Bedok, Singapore. It is part of the Canossian family of Catholic girls' schools in Singapore.-History:...

 (1879). After independence in 1965, all such schools were integrated into a unified national school system, but many later became independent or autonomous.


Originally six Maarif Koleji, followed by major Anatolian Schools, were established in major cities in Turkey. The Anatolian Schools admitted students based on an academic test administered at the end of grade 5. The schools offered a year of foreign language education as a preparatory year followed by foreign-language medium of instruction seven years of middle and high school grades. Several private schools followed the Anatolian School model particularly as an alternative to foreign-based American, French and German schools. Kadikoy Anadolu Lisesi
Kadiköy Anadolu Lisesi
Kadıköy Anadolu Lisesi, also commonly known as Kadıköy Maarif College, abbreviated Kadıköy Maarif or KAL, is one of the oldest, most prestigious Anatolian High Schools and internationally renowned high schools of Turkey; located in Moda, Istanbul. The education languages are Turkish and English...

, HASAL, Besiktas Anadolu Lisesi
Beşiktaş Anadolu Lisesi
Beşiktaş Anadolu Lisesi is a four-year Anatolian High School located on the European side of Istanbul and one of the best schools in Turkey . The primary languages of instruction are Turkish and English...

 are amongst the most popular of 83 Anatolian Schools that prepare students to universities at home and abroad. There is also one Anatolian School in Baku, Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan , officially the Republic of Azerbaijan is the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west, and Iran to...

 and one in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...


United States

Grammar schools on the British model were founded during the colonial period
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

, the first being the Boston Latin School
Boston Latin School
The Boston Latin School is a public exam school founded on April 23, 1635, in Boston, Massachusetts. It is both the first public school and oldest existing school in the United States....

, founded as the Latin Grammar School in 1635.
In 1647 the Massachusetts Bay Colony
Massachusetts Bay Colony
The Massachusetts Bay Colony was an English settlement on the east coast of North America in the 17th century, in New England, situated around the present-day cities of Salem and Boston. The territory administered by the colony included much of present-day central New England, including portions...

 enacted the Old Deluder Satan Law, requiring any township of at least 100 households to establish a grammar school, and similar laws followed in the other New England
New England
New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

 colonies. These schools initially taught young men the classical languages as a preparation for university, but by the mid-18th century many had broadened their curricula to include practical subjects. Nevertheless, they declined in popularity owing to competition from the more practical academies. The name "grammar school" was adopted by schools for children from 10 to 14 years of age, and later by elementary schools.
Current usage is slight and regional, with private academies calling themselves grammar schools in New York.
However, an analogous concept is the magnet school
Magnet school
In education in the United States, magnet schools are public schools with specialized courses or curricula. "Magnet" refers to how the schools draw students from across the normal boundaries defined by authorities as school zones that feed into certain schools.There are magnet schools at the...

, a state-funded secondary institution that may select its students from a given school district according to academic criteria.

See also

  • Gymnasium (school)
    Gymnasium (school)
    A gymnasium is a type of school providing secondary education in some parts of Europe, comparable to English grammar schools or sixth form colleges and U.S. college preparatory high schools. The word γυμνάσιον was used in Ancient Greece, meaning a locality for both physical and intellectual...

  • Latin school
    Latin School
    Latin School may refer to:* Latin schools of Medieval Europe* These schools in the United States:** Boston Latin School, Boston, MA** Brooklyn Latin School, New York, NY** Brother Joseph C. Fox Latin School, Long Island, NY...

  • History of education in England
    History of education in England
    The history of education in England can be traced back to the Anglo-Saxon settlement of England, or even back to the Roman occupation. During the Middle Ages schools were established to teach Latin grammar, while apprenticeship was the main way to enter practical occupations. Two universities were...

  • Debates on the grammar school
    Debates on the grammar school
    The Grammar schools debate is a debate about the merits and demerits of the existence of grammar schools in the United Kingdom. Grammar schools are state schools which select their pupils on the basis of academic ability with pupils sitting an exam in the last year of primary called the 11-plus to...

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.