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News archive - May/June 2018

Grammar school boost from Hinds

Grammar school boost from Hinds

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has set out plans aimed at expanding grammar schools and creating new free schools.

Upto £50m of funding has been allocated to expand the number of places at existing good or outstanding grammar schools alongside measures to give more disadvantaged pupils the opportunity to attend these schools. The Department for Education estimates that the move should create places for between 3,500 and 4,000 children. Some reports suggested that another £150m will be made available for expansion in the near future.

There is also to be new support for faith schools where there is demand for good school places, building on the 212,000 places created by free schools since 2010. The government will retain the 50% cap on faith admissions for free schools but will develop a scheme to help create new voluntary-aided schools for faith and other providers to meet local demand, supported by capital funding.

The Education Secretary said: “By creating new schools where they are needed most and helping all great schools to grow, we can give parents greater choice in looking at schools that are right for their family - and give children of all backgrounds access to a world-class education.”

Jim Skinner, the Grammar School Heads’ Association chief executive, said: “We are very pleased that, like other good and outstanding schools, selective schools now have access to a fund to allow them to expand their premises. This is particularly important at a time when there are increasing numbers of pupils reaching secondary age and such high demand from parents for selective school places.”

The purpose of the Selective Schools Expansion Fund (SSEF) - the name for the grammar school initiative - is to support the expansion of selective schools where:

  • There is a need for additional places, both in terms of a shortfall of secondary places in the local area and a demand from parents for more selective places; and
  • Schools have ambitious and realistic plans for increasing access for disadvantaged pupils (by which we mean pupils eligible for the pupil premium); and
  • They have plans to work with other local schools to increase access for disadvantaged pupils and to raise attainment.

All applications must be submitted by noon on 19 July 2018 www.gov.uk/government/publications/selective-schools-expansion-fund

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