Case Study: Northern Ireland

Education provision in Northern Ireland is a an area of devolved responsibility within which the grammar school system continues to thrive. It provides the best possible case study for evidencing why grammar schools are so effective at increasing learning outcomes and boosting social mobility because Northern Ireland is so similar to the rest of the UK.

We have put together a short (although information-heavy) briefing note which brings together the relevant attainment statistics for Northern Ireland. The briefing note is available by clicking here: Grammar Schools In Northern Ireland.

Overall the case of Northern Ireland shows us that:

  • The average overall academic attainment level is higher where grammar schools are present.
  • Social mobility is higher in Northern Ireland. Education is a key factor in ensuring social mobility.
  • Where education is divided, resources can be better focused and real improvements made in the attainment of all pupils, not just those attending grammars. This is why Northern Ireland has witnessed a significant increase in the attainment of the least academically gifted pupils in recent years. There has been a year-on-year reduction in the attainment gap between those at grammars and those at secondary moderns.