However, I think the Surrey system is an opt-in system, i.e. the parents choose to apply for a GS place, with the large majority of children going to a comprehensive?
In Bucks, it is a totally selective system. The grammar school system was never dismantled here in the 1970s. This means unless the child qualifies for a grammar school place, they have to go to a secondary modern school. There are some good ones, but many are struggling. There are no comprehensive secondary schools in Bucks.
Thank you for that explanation, Lillie, I didn't know that. You are right, in Surrey parents either chose to apply for a GS place for their DC or apply for a place in a comprehensive. Of the latter, some are pretty good, but some not so - just like everywhere else, I guess. Some parents opt for GS because they have no chance of getting into one of the good comprehensives - they are very oversubscribed and their catchment areas can be very small.