Green light for the first ‘new’ grammar school in 50 years

The Mail is reporting (contrary to its last story on this issue) that ministers are set to announce the first ‘new’ grammar school in 50 years.

Sources have told The Mail on Sunday that a Whitehall battle over whether to give the green light to the school in Sevenoaks, Kent, has finally been resolved after Government lawyers dropped their opposition.

If Education Secretary Nicky Morgan now approves the school, it will be hailed as a victory for Tory traditionalists who argue that the comprehensive system has made it harder for bright children from poor families to attend top universities and claim the best jobs…

Laws passed by Labour under Tony Blair make it illegal to open a new selective school, but do not bar existing schools from expanding.

The proposed new school for 500 girls in Sevenoaks would evade the ban by being classified as a ‘satellite’ branch of the all-girls Weald of Kent grammar, ten miles away in Tonbridge.

If the new school is a success, at least 12 further ‘grammar satellites’ are in the pipeline… 

This newspaper understands that the Government has been satisfied by assurances from Kent County Council that there will be ‘regular staff traffic’ between Tonbridge and Sevenoaks.

A senior education source said: ‘We were determined to make sure the new grammar was legally watertight. The last thing we wanted was for our opponents to accuse us of rushing into an ideologically-motivated decision.’

A Department for Education spokesman said legal advice was still being considered.

More at: Green light for the first ‘new’ grammar school in 50 years: Minister set to revive decades-old row over the role of academic selection in the state system

 

This has been on and off several times according to recent reports so I wouldn’t take this a definitive until confirmation is given.

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