No “winners and losers” in new grammar schools plans

New Education Secretary Justine Greening attempted to pour oil on speculation regarding plans for an expansion of grammar schools in England saying children would not be split into “winners and losers”.

The Secretary of State was under pressure today to clarify planned changes after a document outlining the proposals was photographed outside Number 10. She said the Government will set out the plans “in due course”, adding that the forthcoming policy will not be about “going back to the past”.

The document, an internal memo signed by Jonathan Slater, the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Education, states: “the [consultation document] says we will open new grammars, albeit that they would have to follow various conditions”.

Schools Week is reporting the new wave of grammar schools might prioritise free school meal pupils in their admissions, a policy that could prove that lifting the ban will not disadvantage students.

According to the BBC, Prime Minister Theresa May told the backbench 1922 committee of Conservative MPs that her plan to create more grammar schools would stop the best state schools becoming the preserve of wealthy families who are buying homes in the catchment area.

There are currently no grammar schools in the North East of England. Mrs May told Conservative MPs on Wednesday night that the expansion would not be forced on areas that did not want them.

Further reading: 
Grammar school plans ‘not a return to past’ (BBC)
Justine Greening indicates ban on grammar schools will be lifted (The Guardian)
Prioritising poorer pupils could help lift grammar ban (Schools Week)
Are grammar schools right for the North East? MPs clash with opposing views (ChronicleLive)
New grammar schools needed to stop rich families dominating best state schools through ‘selection by house price’, says Theresa May (The Telegraph)
More grammar schools would be a disaster, says social mobility tsar (The Guardian)

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