Forget the idea that the type of school your child attends makes a difference. It’s a myth. Politicians like to change the way schools are organised: grammars, academies, private schools. But school structures aren’t the key to boosting children’s academic progress. Selective schools, state and private, get better exam results because their pupils were doing well before they got there – that’s why they passed the entrance test. That’s not to say all schools are the same but the difference is down to how good the teachers are at engaging pupils of all abilities and maintaining discipline. Those who think grammar schools give deprived pupils a leg up the social ladder are wrong. Very few pupils from poor backgrounds even pass the entrance test.

Also examined, new research into setting and streaming by ability within schools. This works for the children in the top sets but not for the children placed in lower sets where they do less well than children of similar ability put in mixed ability classes.

Advice on how to choose a school, based on research, is included.