Only six local authorities in England would benefit from new grammar schools, research shows

Only six out of 152 local authority areas in England would benefit from expanded selection and opening new grammar schools, according to new research from the Education Policy Institute (EPI).

The EPIs analysis looked at the implications of expanding or opening new grammar schools by assessing areas on a set of tests that mirror the conditions set out in the ‘Schools that work for everyone’ green paper. These were:
- Extra grammar places would not be to the detriment of pupils who do not access them
- There are sufficient pupil numbers to access and sustain the school without requiring long travel distances
- New grammar schools would not undermine existing high quality non-selective schools
- There is clear parental demand

The EPI found that there are only six local authority areas in England that would meet the location principles for new grammar schools, and where there appears to be clear public support for expansion. These are: Solihull, Essex, North Yorkshire, Dorset, Northamptonshire and North Somerset.

The report concluded that it would be difficult for the government to identify areas for grammar school expansion that will avoid damage to pupils who do not access the new selective places, where there is public demand for new selective places, and where there is high disadvantage.

Instead of plans to increase selection, the EPI advises that ‘a more promising approach’ could be to focus on increasing the quality of existing non-selective school places, as has been successfully achieved in London over the last 20 years.

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