Exclusive: 700 pupils get grammar places without passing 11+

According to TES, almost 700 pupils were admitted to grammar schools across the country at the start of the last academic year without having passed the 11-plus admission test, Tes can reveal.

The number has been revealed through a freedom of information request carried out by anti-selection campaign group Comprehensive Future, which says the overall figure is likely to be higher as 59 out of the country’s 163 grammar schools did not respond to the FOI.

Comprehensive Future chair Nuala Burgess said some grammar schools were “quite happy to be less selective when it suits them” and that many were “struggling to fill places”.

“Such tactics would suggest that the £200 million this government has designated to expanding selective schools is a sheer waste of money. Far from being over-subscribed, many grammar schools appear to struggle to fill their allocation.”

The FOI figures (based on the schools which responded) show that 693 pupils claimed selective places without a test pass following appeals, which is the equivalent to 4.6 grammar schools filling up in Year 7 without an 11-plus pass (based on an average published admission number of 150 a year.)

According to the FOI, the highest number of admissions without a test pass was in Kent, where Comprehensive Future has highlighted concerns over plans to build a new satellite grammar school in the east of the county using cash from the government’s satellite expansion fund.

A Department for Education spokesperson said: “Admission authorities for grammar schools decide how they assess pupils who apply for a school place – the 11-plus exam is used by all grammar schools for pupils entering Year 7. 

Read more Exclusive: 700 pupils get grammar places without passing 11+

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