The Guardian has published some insights into the impact of a major long term study of cohorts of British people which was begun at the end of the Second World War and continues with new cohorts recruited every decade.
The study is the largest data set of its kind in the world and is invaluable as a source of social, economic and health trends.
Within the section on education is sufficient data to show that contrary to the opinion of those who wish to re-introduce them, the Grammar schools were not the meritocracies that they would like to present. Working class children were less likely to get a place at them as they more often failed the examination at 11. This information was used as the basis of the “comprehensive” movement from the sixties onwards, promoted by the Labour government.
At this time it is interesting to see the impact of the study in shaping the National Health System…
The Life Project: what makes some people happy, healthy and successful – and others not? | Books | The Guardian
Helen Pearson is the author of The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives, which is published by Allen Lane.