Grammars can still select pupils as academies: Government
Ministers have moved to reassure grammar schools that they can
continue to select pupils if they become academies.
The assurance came amid concerns that under the coalition
government's plans, schools that became academies could change
their admissions arrangements and become all-ability.
About a third of Kent's grammar schools have registered an
interest in becoming academies among a total of more than 100
primary and secondary schools in Kent and Medway.
Schools minister Nick Gibb insisted there was no question that
the selective admissions or the 11-plus would end if grammars opted
to become academies.
He was responsding to a question tabled at Westminster by
Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch (Con).
Grammar schools had been warned off applying for academy status
by the National Grammar Schools
Association (NGSA). It advised schools to proceed with "extreme
caution" in view of the potential "covert dangers" of the
The organisation's chairman, Robert McCartney, claimed parents
might not be consulted about a subsequent decision to change
admissions arrangements and let in pupils of all abilities.
Ms Crouch said: "I am delighted by what the minister said. There
was some concern after the statement put out by NGSA when it was
quite clear that under the plans that grammars could remain
She defended the move to allow outstanding schools to be
fast-tracked under the government's programme, saying that it would
allow education authorities to focus on helping schools with
"Rather than drain council resources, these schools will be able
to remove themselves from local authority allowing authorities to
focus on those that need most help," the MP said.
Eleven grammar schools graded as outstanding have expressed an
interest in becoming an academy. They are Tonbridge Grammar School;
The Judd School; Barton Court; Maidstone Grammar School; The
Skinners School; Highsted Grammar; the Weald of Kent Grammar;
Dartford Grammar and Simon Langton Girls Grammar and Chatham and
Clarendon House grammars.
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