At least 35 selective schools – of which there are 163 in England – are considering a share of the expansion funding announced by the government to help create thousands of new places. The Independent reports.
Analysis from campaign group Comprehensive Future calculates that an additional thousand pupils could attend grammar schools a year – if all proposals for expansion are approved.
Melissa Benn, chair of Comprehensive Future said: “If these, and further expansions, go ahead, we will see significant changes to our education landscape. Expanding selective school places imbalances local school communities and causes serious problems for nearby secondary schools.”
Grammar schools have under a month to submit bids for the £50m fund – which schools minister Nick Gibb has said could fund up to 4,000 places a year. Schools will be able to access cash from September.
Comprehensive Future found consultations for expansions on the websites of 35 selective schools across England – from Kent, London and Essex, to Devon, Manchester, and the West Midlands.
It is possible that other grammar schools are seeking funding but have not put their consultations – which are supposed to run for four weeks – online ahead of the August deadline.
Liam Collins, headteacher of Uplands Community College in East Sussex, said he was “dismayed” to see a Kent grammar school is seeking to offer additional “out of area placements” which will affect his intake.
“[It] is both unnecessary and damaging when we know that comprehensive schools are successful in helping students achieve high outcomes and move onto some of the best universities,” he said.
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