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New grammar school ban to be lifted

12/09/2016 Joanna

For almost two decades there has been a ban on new grammar schools being created, but prime minister Theresa May has announced that this will now be lifted.

Although plans to end this ban have received criticism from many, measures have been proposed that will prevent poorer children from losing out. According to the Guardian, Ms May will say during a speech in London: "For too long we have tolerated a system that contains an arbitrary rule preventing selective schools from being established - sacrificing children’s potential because of dogma and ideology. The truth is that we already have selection in our school system - and it’s selection by house price, selection by wealth. That is simply unfair."

The new rules mean that as well as new selective schools being able to open, existing schools will also be able to upgrade to grammar status.

However, it's expected that this move will still invite criticism from some politicians, teaching unions and education campaigners.

A paper is due to be published on Monday (September 12th) that will have clear rules to be followed, which intend to reduce any risks for poorer children. These include a minimum proportion of pupils from lower-income households being enrolled and establishing a new non-selective free school, or a primary feeder school in an area with a high density of lower income households.

In addition, selective schools must sponsor an existing underperforming, non-selective academy school.

Education secretary Justine Greening said: "There will be no return to the simplistic, binary choice of the past, where schools separate children into winners and losers, successes or failures. This government wants to focus on the future."

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