School leaders fume at £50m funding for grammar expansion

Under controversial new plans, £50 million is to be pumped into creating more places at selective state schools – a move that ministers said will give parents more choice. ITV reports.

But school leaders criticised the decision, saying they were “disappointed” that the Government was spending “scarce funding” on expanding grammars.

The confirmation of cash for grammar schools is likely to be seen as a revival of Theresa May’s pledge to expand selective education.

Controversial proposals to lift the ban on creating new grammar schools were a key part of the Conservative manifesto in last year’s snap general election, but the plans were dropped in the wake of the election result, which saw the Tories lose their overall majority.

Critics of selective education argue that these schools do not help improve social mobility.

Nick Brook, deputy general secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), said: “The Government cannot point to a single piece of evidence that shows strong educational benefit of this misguided policy. While it may benefit a small minority, it will not close the gap between rich and poor pupils and if anything will increase the divide.

“School budgets are at breaking point. The state-funded school system is rapidly heading towards insolvency. To pursue such an elitist policy as expanding grammars at a time of crisis is a distraction at best. This money should be spent for the benefit of all children, not just the tiny number who attend grammar schools.”

Kevin Courtney, joint general secretary of the National Education Union (NEU), said: “The grammar school corpse has climbed out of its coffin once again despite evidence of the damage that selective education causes. Once prior attainment and pupil background is taken into account, research shows there is no overall attainment impact of grammar schools, either positive or negative.”

Read the full article School leaders fume at £50m funding for grammar expansion

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