If you are considering emigrating to the United Kingdom with your young child, the schooling will be an issue that you can't avoid. The education system in the UK is distinct from that in Hong Kong in terms of school kinds and admission policy. There are two major types of schools in the UK, independent school and state school. As for state schools, they can be further classified into academy school, community school, grammar school, faith school, and free school. You may already heard of it that many advocate grammar school, but does it really do you and your child a favor? Here are three reasons why you shouldn't apply to grammar schools for your child.
1. Academic pressure may stress out you and your child.
Grammar schools were coined in the 16th century, initially for teaching classic languages like Latin and Greek. Nowadays, grammar schools have undergone lots of changes, but they remain to emphasize academic achievements as you can tell from how they select students. Grammar schools admit students by primarily ranking their scores in the 11+ test (an entrance exam) in an attempt to opt out high achievers to ensure that they are capable of studying in the academic environment of grammar school. That is to say, if your child are admitted, it is foreseeable that he/ she will have to bear a heavy academic burden in the next 5-6 years to strike for a good result in Global Scale of English (GSE) and A-level. I bet that a stressful school life may not be what you and your child expect from relocating to a western country.
2. Unhealthy school culture may do harm your child's personal growth.
As mentioned above, grammar schools select their students based on their scores in the 11+ test. Such a selection criterion speaks bluntly to the children who got admitted into the school that they are superior to the others. Having said so, as one of the previous students at grammar school shared, a fear of failure would actually come alongside this sense of entitlement. Those who believe in the superior saying would hence be unable to accept failure. Meanwhile, the school and the system will subconsciously make students believe that getting a B is unsatisfactory, getting a C equals to fail. Both are distorted values that the unhealthy school culture may bring forth and in no way will they benefit the positive personal growth of children. As a parent, how can you bear to place your child in such an undesirable environment?
3. Attending grammar school can be costly.
Last but not least, we arrive at the practical side of the issue. Grammar schools consider students' academic excellence before their distance from school. In other words, you can admit preferable grammar schools outside of your area. If you are lucky enough to get into the school, that means you and your child may have to spend much time traveling every day or even move near to the school to save commuting time. In this case, what noteworthy is that the house price around grammar schools is relatively higher than in the neighboring regions. For example, a house in Sussex is usually 25% cheaper than the same-sized house in Tunbridge Wells because there is no grammar school in Sussex. Therefore, even though grammar schools are government-aided, there is a possible hidden cost for attending a grammar school.
The thing that suits the others may not suit you. When it comes to choosing which school to apply to, rather than blindly sought after grammar schools, one shall never overlook the willingness of your children.