Grammar schools date back to as early as the 16th century, but the modern concept was created with the 1944 Education Act.
They were one of three types of school forming the Tripartite System, the others being the secondary technical school and secondary modern, with grammar schools were intended to teach the most academically-able 25% of students as selected by the 11-plus exam.
Critics suggested the system effectively resulted in pupils being divided between those destined for university and good jobs, often from a wealthier background, and those from more working-class backgrounds destined for less celebrated professions.
The Tripartite System was largely abolished in England and Wales between 1965 and 1976, with many grammar schools converting into comprehensive schools or independent schools.
Only a handful of local authorities in England have kept a largely selective schools system, while in other places, only a few grammar schools have survived in an otherwise fully comprehensive system.
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