Campaigners criticise £50m fund for grammar schools expansion

Headteachers and campaigners for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) have reacted with fury to a government announcement that 16 grammar schools are to split a £50m bonus to create new school places. The Guardian reports.

Headteachers who have been campaigning for months to highlight the funding crisis in their schools described the move as “ill-judged”. Campaigners who are fighting SEND cuts to their children’s education through the courts said it was “sickening”.

“It’s difficult to stomach the backdoor expansion of grammar schools while inclusive schools are being financially penalised and special educational needs funding is in crisis,” said a spokesperson for SEND Family Action. “Attending these schools is simply not an option for many pupils with SEND.”

Dr Mary Bousted, the joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said the £50m boost would benefit very few children. “Yet again the government shows its complete lack of understanding of the huge funding crisis in our schools. This will be a huge disappointment to the majority of non selective schools and colleges facing financial hardship.”

Headteachers who marched on Westminster in September to bring the financial crisis in their schools to the attention of ministers also expressed their disappointment. Jules White, the headteacher of Tanbridge House school in West Sussex and leader of the Worth Less? fair funding lobby, which represents 7,000 headteachers across 60 local authorities, said all schools deserved better funding.

“It seems that the Treasury and the DfE can always find money for projects that suit an ideological direction. At the same time, when the need to fund each child’s education properly arises, we are told that money is in short supply.”

The shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner, said: “At a time when the chancellor promises only ‘little extras’ for almost every school, the government are handing out millions to a handful of cherry-picked grammar schools which will do nothing for almost every child in the country.”

Read more Campaigners criticise £50m fund for grammar schools expansion

Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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Categories: Budgets, Grammar Schools and SEN.


  1. Anonymous

    Clever kids deserve a good education too. They shouldn’t be used as a means of bringing other children on. That’s the job of the teachers. Clever kids are bored at school while all time and effort is spent on everyone else. Clever kids work better with other clever kids. If a child has a talent for music or art or drama no one has a problem with them going to a music school etc. Clever kids in grammar schools cost much less than special needs kids. In fact some clever kids are special needs kids. I get so bored of clever kids being punished for their cleverness, being made to feel as if they have no rights just responsibilities. £50 m is nothing and will change some children’s lives forever. Get over yourselves!

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