Are we set to see a revival of grammar schools?

‘Theresa May is planning to launch a new generation of grammar schools by scrapping the ban on them imposed almost 20 years ago, The Telegraph has learnt.

In a move that will be cheered by Tory grassroots, the Prime Minister intends to pave the way for a new wave of selective schools.

Mrs May is understood to see the reintroduction of grammar schools - banned by Tony Blair in 1998 - as a key part of her social cohesion agenda. 

The historic shift in education policy is expected to be announced by the end of the year, possibly as early as the Conservatives’ annual party conference in October.

It marks a major departure from David Cameron’s education policy, with the former prime minister repeatedly refusing to give in to pressure from backbenchers on the issue.

A government source said allowing new grammar schools was about “social mobility and making sure that people have the opportunity to capitalise on all of their talents”.’ - The Telegraph

‘Education Secretary Justine Greening has previously said she is "open minded" on the issue.

Grammar schools are state secondaries whose pupils are selected by examination at age 10 to 11.

There are currently about 163 in England - out of some 3,000 state secondaries - and a further 69 in Northern Ireland.

But under a law created by the Labour government in 1998, no new grammar schools are allowed to open in England. Education policy is devolved in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.’ - BBC News

‘Responding to the Sunday Telegraph report, the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, said there should be “no going back” to the grammar-school era.

“Rather than harking back to a mythical ‘golden age’ of grammar schools, the Tories must work tirelessly to improve every school in the country, to work with teachers to drive up standards, and to give our schools the investment they need in the 21st century,” she said.

Former shadow education secretary Lucy Powell said: “All the evidence tells us that, far from giving working-class kids chances, [grammar schools] entrench advantage and have become the preserve of the privately tutored.

“If this is the new direction of Theresa May’s education policy, it’s a bad move and shows us, yet again, why we need a Labour government.”

Farron has promised that the Lib Dems would “work to block any Tory attempt to create grammar schools”.

Last week he told the Guardian his party would mobilise its strong presence in the House of Lords, where it has 106 peers, and would aim to work with Labour and crossbench colleagues to defeat any attempt by the government to reintroduce grammar schools.

Farron said selective education was divisive and pointed out that a reintroduction of grammar schools was not in the Conservative 2015 election manifesto.’ - The Guardian

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