Hinds: ‘I trust grammars on poorer pupils’

Damian Hinds has said he trusts grammar schools to keep their promises on taking in more disadvantaged pupils. Tes reports

MPs on the Commons Education Committee today questioned the education secretary over the £50 million selective schools expansion fund.

Grammars bidding for money to expand from this fund will need to show they have “ambitious and realistic” plans to increase access for pupil premium pupils.

But MPs asked what sanctions would be in place if the numbers of low-income pupils did not increase following expansion.

“Generally speaking I take at their word headteachers, school governors and so on and regard them as honest people who when they say they will do something, plan to do it,” Mr Hinds said.

Robert Halfon, committee chair, said: “But if you give then the money and they expand and there aren’t significantly more pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, there are no substantive sanctions you could propose?”

Mr Hinds repeated only that any future decisions on capital that would take their record into account.

“But that is locking the stable door that is after the horse is bolted,” Mr Ian Mearns, Labour MP for Gateshead, replied.

Read more Hinds: ‘I trust grammars on poorer pupils’

Should time frames and penalties be set if a grammar schools don’t increase access for pupil premium pupils? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin

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