Grammar schools became the selective tier of the Tripartite System of state-funded secondary education operating in England and Wales from the mid-1940s to the late 1960s and continuing in Northern Ireland. With the move to non-selective comprehensive schools in the 1960s and 1970s, some grammar schools became fully independent private schools and charged fees, while most others were abolished or became comprehensive (or sometimes merged with a secondary modern to form a new comprehensive school). In both cases, many of these schools kept “grammar school” in their names. More recently, a number of state grammar schools still retaining their selective intake gained academy status, meaning that they are independent of the Local Education Authority (LEA). Some parts of England retain forms of the Tripartite System, and a few grammar schools survive in otherwise comprehensive areas. Some of the remaining grammar schools can trace their histories to before the 16th century.