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Grammar schools – closing the gap?

8 May 2014

Reports are suggesting that over half of the 164 selective schools in England are looking to amend their admission policies to give greater priority to disadvantaged children, i.e. those on free school meals. Over 30 grammar schools have already gained consent from the Department for Education to give priority on this basis with another 50 looking to do so. The move follows a report from the Sutton Trust which highlighted the low proportion of pupils on free school meals in grammar schools compared to the national average.

This move is clearly in accordance with wider government policies around increasing equality and choice in education and ensuring all children get access to quality educational provision. However, to make a greater difference you also need to ensure children get the firm foundations of learning in place at primary school to ensure they can realise their potential at secondary schools – whether those schools are comprehensive or selective.

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