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Grammar school extensions rejected

17 December 2013

Two Kent grammar schools’ applications to extend their grammar school provision were rejected by the DfE because they effectively created new schools (which is currently against the law), rather than extended current provision (which isn’t).

It was revealing that the Kent grammar school bids were rejected on technical (the two applicants were single sex and the new provision was a co-educational establishment) rather than policy grounds. Indeed, the DfE have said that they would welcome an alternative bid from an alternative co-educational provider.

This would seem to run directly contrary to Sir Michael Wilshaw’s views on selective education, who told the Observer that he did not see selective schools as either an effective driver of social mobility or a means of improving general attainment.

There has been a broad consensus on selective education between Labour and Conservative leadership over the past fifteen years. Will any perceived extension of selective provision “by the back door” end this?

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