Are grammar schools worth the gamble?

11:59 20 September 2016

The prime minister has said new grammar schools will end selection by house price

The prime minister has said new grammar schools will end selection by house price

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The government needs to ensure new schools do not lead to a two-tier system

When Nicky Morgan took over as education secretary in 2014, her job was to steady the ship following the reforms of her predecessor, Michael Gove.

Fast forward just two years and a new education secretary, Justine Greening, could oversee yet another huge shake-up – the lifting of the ban on new grammar schools.

Seen by many as engines of social mobility that allowed bright working-class children to flourish, and by others as unfair ’50s throwbacks, their reintroduction is highly controversial.

The prime minister claims the schools will put an end to ‘selection by house price’ and has promised there will be no return to the era of the secondary modern.

While the move could win back traditional Tory voters from Ukip, it will cause yet more upheaval of a system that has been reformed time and time again.

During prime minister’s questions, Mrs May was unable to name any education experts that support grammars, and she must be held to account on her pledge not to create an unfair, two-tier system.

Get it right and new grammar schools could be a big success as part of a diverse education system. But get it wrong and a generation of children could pay the price.

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