Grammar schools to be debated in House of Commons

New plans to reintroduce grammar schools into the English education system are set to be presented in the House of Commons today, giving MPs the chance to question Education Secretary Justine Greening over the proposals.

Following months of speculation, in a speech on 9 September Prime Minister Theresa May confirmed her plans to lift the ban on opening new grammar schools that was introduced by the Labour government in 1998.

She outlined plans to ‘relax the restrictions that stop selective schools from expanding’ and argued that it was ‘illogical to make it illegal to open good new schools’ and said it denied parents ‘the right to have a new selective school opened where they want one’.

The plans had already proved controversial before the official announcement, with many education experts, including Ofsetd chief inspector Michael Wilshaw, speaking out against the plans.

Lifting the ban will likely face stiff opposition, as both Labour and the Liberal Democrats have come out criticising the plans and saying they will oppose the move in both the House of Commons and the House of Lords.

Greening will likely have her work cut out for her as she defends lifting the ban, as the plans have also faced a significant degree of backlash from members of the Conservative Party. Education Committee chair Neil Carmichael was quick to criticise the plans, and he has been joined by former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, who warned the plans risk ‘undermining six years of progressive education reform’ under the Conservative government.

Read more