More grammar schools could open despite Tory U-turn

Jun 22, 2017 by

Photo 1 of Kingston upon Thames
Schools in London borough of Kingston are hoping to exploit loophole allowing existing grammars to open ‘satellite’ campuses

Wealthy parts of London could be allowed to open new grammar schools even though the government dropped its manifesto promise to expand school selection, education campaigners have warned.

The London borough of Kingston – one of most well-off parts of the capital – is among several areas able to exploit a loophole that bypasses the ban on any new school in England from selecting pupils based on entrance exams.

The loophole allows existing grammars to open “satellite” campuses or annexes miles from their original site – as has already happened in Kent – or even in neighbouring local authorities.

The Tiffin boys and girls grammar schools in Kingston-upon-Thames are among 17 selective schools that applied for permission to open annexes, according to freedom of information requests obtained by the Comprehensive Future campaign group.

“We worry that annexe grammar school expansions will permit a slow but steady expansion of selection by other means. We know many schools have already explored using this shady route to avoid the law,” said Melissa Benn of Comprehensive Future.

Benn said her organisation had been “thrilled” by the disappearance of policies to promote selective schools from the Queen’s speech this week, saying: “This scheme was widely criticised by headteachers, teaching unions, and academic experts, and most parents and teachers are relieved this will not happen.”

Source: More grammar schools could open despite Tory U-turn, campaigners say | Education | The Guardian

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