Grammar school parents are in open revolt over plans to drop entry marks for disadvantaged pupils. Over 3,000 people have signed an online petition warning that reducing the pass mark for the Eleven Plus will lead to standards dropping “dramatically”. The Telegraph reports.
The King Edward VI Academy Trust, which runs six grammar schools in Birmingham, plans to introduce new catchment areas from next September that will give priority to disadvantaged pupils who live in those areas, even if they achieve slightly lower entry scores.
Kaja Fawthrop, who wrote the petition, said that parents have raised almost £2,000 for a barrister’s opinion on the legality of the plans. They have also lodged an appeal with the Office of the Schools Adjudicator.
“We reject proposals to create new catchment areas around each Grammar school and drastically reduce the pass mark causing standards to drop dramatically in the best schools in our City,” the petition says.
Writing on the site change.org, Ms Fawthrop said: “Grammar schools are designed for academically high achieving children. If entrance is decided on by postcode, what is the point of Grammar schools? What is the point of the 11+ test if catchment area is the deciding factor?”
Heath Monk, executive director of King Edward VI Foundation, has previously said: “Grammar schools have got to be more socially inclusive and they have got to do more to reach out to disadvantaged children and that inevitably means some fear of displacement.”
Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter – Tamsin
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