Theresa May plans to remove restrictions over selective schools

Emma Billingham

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Emma Billingham

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Theresa May plans to remove restrictions over selective schools

Theresa May has announced that she wants to remove the obstacles that are currently in place to allow new ‘selective schools’ from opening or current non-selective schools from converting.

In a speech today (Friday) about school reforms across Britain, the Prime Minister stated her intentions for schools to help the country become a meritocracy.

The debate over lifting the law preventing more grammar schools from opening has been rumbling on for years, with some people fearing that the change would see schools return to a binary system or become a system that is unfair for families on a lower income.

Mrs May’s proposals hope to pave the way to develop more good or outstanding schools in the country, and to become more accessible for poorer families, with grammar schools having to accept a certain number of students from less privileged backgrounds.

The Prime Minister said: “I want to stop restrictions to expand selective schools and in return they will contribute reasonably to help all in education.

"They could, as a condition, be asked to establish a good new non-selective school or open a good feeder school, or might partner a non-selective school and sponsor it to allow pupils to attend certain subjects.”

The government will be making £50million available to assist the schools looking for expansion or conversion. 

Mrs May added: “I want this country to be a meritocracy. This is the plan to deliver more great schools and set Britain on the path to be the great meritocracy it can be.”

Update 2.31pm: Councillor Natasha Airey, the Royal Borough’s cabinet member for children's services, says: "The Royal Borough continues to invest in education of all types in the borough and we want to provide parents with choice when deciding on schooling for their children.

“Today's announcement has opened up opportunities for the council to consider and review how we support the school system to develop further opportunities for our residents. 

“Hundreds of our children go outside the borough to attend a number of grammar schools every day.  In the coming months we will work with all schools interested in taking up the opportunities today's announcement offers them including continuing our aspiration for expansion of grammar provision. 

“We, along with our growing population, continue to value parents having choice and equal opportunities in education. 

"We want all schools to be outstanding in our borough, we have recently invested over £30million into our secondary school estate and we continue to support all schools in delivering their plans to secure outstanding education, particularly for those from disadvantaged family backgrounds.

“We will continue to work on the opportunities that Theresa May set out in her speech with our schools.

"As referred to by the Prime Minister, Eton College sponsors one of our local free schools, Holyport College, which has a commitment to providing education opportunities for local pupils and those needing additional support such as children in care and pupil premium. 

“The school enables pupils from a diverse range of backgrounds to have access to Eton's facilities to enhance the educational development on the children attending and this is an area they will continue to work on.

“The education proposals announced today presents are in line with our commitment to secure excellence in education for all borough residents.”

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