Are grammar schools about to make a comeback?

BBC News are reporting that grammar schools are back on the agenda with a grassroots Conservative group about to launch a campaign for their return.

The first step would be the removal of the current ban on opening new grammar schools in England.

But there is also a requirement, created by David Cameron’s government, that all new state schools should be free schools, a type of academy set up by community groups or academy chains.

So the most likely route for new grammars would be as a form of free school. These are likely to expand anyway, as there are official forecasts showing an extra 570,000 more secondary places in England are needed within the decade.

But free schools are non-selective and are officially described as “‘all-ability’ schools, so can’t use the academic selection processes of grammar schools”. This would have to change to allow entrance tests for new grammar free schools.

Another way of expanding grammar numbers, without building any new schools, would be to allow private schools which were once grammars – such as the old direct grant grammars – to return to the state sector.

More at: Are grammar schools about to make a comeback?

Are you keen to see the return of grammar schools, or anxious to prevent their interference in the new  free school school system? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Nellie

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Categories: Policy.


  1. Nairb1

    Political ideology hasn’t got in the way of sound thinking on education so far so why should it now? There are plenty of Tories who hanker after the elitist days of grammar schools as it was a cheaper way of ensuring middle class domination of the best funded schools than having to pay for private education. We will get the lies about selective education and social mobility. We will get the propaganda around every child being grammar school eligible if only they are taught properly. Primary school league tables around grammar school admissions will appear. And for some reason large numbers of parents will believe that most children will get into a grammar school even if the 20% selection band is clearly stated. Of course we will continue to see the current nonsense (see any existing area which still has selection) of proving academic selection works because schools which select on academic ability are always top of the academic league tables. This is, of course, due to the excellent teaching they provide and nothing to do with their selected intake.

  2. ColinSeabrook

    SchoolsImprove By refusing students with low ability, SEN or poor behaviour? They are here. We call them Academies

  3. GrahamBett

    SchoolsImprove How can grammar schools ‘make a comeback’ without secondary moderns?Why must we not talk about imposing secmods on children?

  4. Being a grammar isn’t necessarily a sign of quality.  Two grammars, Stretford Grammar (2009) and Chatham Grammar for Boys (2013) were judged Inadequate.  Boston Grammar (boys) was judged RI earlier this year.
    Many grammars are sitting on Ofsted judgements made six years ago or more.  Most of those which have become academies haven’t been inspected since becoming an academy but still present their old judgement as if it were current.

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