chapter  15
19 Pages

The Public Schools and the General Educational System

N o account of the English grammar schools today is complete without some discussion of the public schools and their relationship with the State system

of secondary education. The public schools, it is true, normally recruit their pupils from a social and economic grouping that is often widely different from that of the grammar schools. Their ties with both the Ministry and the local education authorities, where they exist at all, are of a looser nature, and their Heads, in consequence, enjoy a freedom which is not always shared by the maintained schools. Yet in spite of such differences the two types of school have a great deal in common. Historically they share a single tradition based on the old grammar schools, and even today their curricula differ rather in emphasis than in content. They compete with one another for State scholarships and even the occupations for which they prepare overlap to a greater or lesser extent. Moreover the influence of the public school tradition, if strongest in the grammar schools, many of which have been consciously modelled on the public schools, has probably left no part of the secondary system quite untouched.