Measures for existing grammar schools to improve social mobility proposed

Grammar schools may be forced to introduce lower 11-plus pass marks in order to increase their intake of disadvantaged children.

The Times has reported that reforms will be announced next month which will make it compulsory for grammars to up their intake of children from deprived backgrounds.

Ministers said last year that new grammar schools would have to take a proportion of pupils from lower-income households, however, the new requirements will be put in place in the 163 existing grammar schools as well.

A government source told the paper that there was a “compelling” case for extending the proposed rules to grammar schools when a white paper setting out the plan is published in several weeks.

The document will outline “social mobility conditions” that selective schools must meet which includes more flexible entry tests and setting aside places for children from poorer families.

Under the new reforms grammar schools will be expected to offer lower pass marks for poorer pupils, let children sit tests in primary schools and venues near their home, and encourage more children to take the entry exams.

In addition, schools will be asked to allow some poorer bright pupils in 12-plus and 13-plus entry points.

A white paper confirming the government’s plans will be followed by legislation in the next parliamentary session to remove the ban on new selective schools which was put in place by Tony Blair in 1998.

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