Theresa May wants education system 'with element of selection'

Imposter students are sitting 11-plus entrance exams

Private schools will have to do more to help the state sector if they want to keep their tax breaks, Theresa May has said, as she claimed her major changes to education would make Britain a "great meritocracy".

In addition, selective schools must sponsor an existing underperforming, non-selective academy school.

Those who did best went to grammar schools; the rest attended "secondary moderns" that offered little chance of getting to university.

'The government need to know; going down this route will only bring battles and an inevitable defeat in the Lords, ' commented Lib Dem leader Tim Farron. Nobody moved in or out while I was at school and so I remained at the bottom of the pile.

These include a minimum proportion of pupils from lower-income households being enrolled and establishing a new non-selective free school, or a primary feeder school in an area with a high density of lower income households.

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Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the opposition Labour Party, said expanding grammar schools would further divide the country.

"It is a future in which every child should have access to a good school place".

Another criticism of grammars, which typically select pupils after they sit an entrance exam at 11 years old, is that the schools are dominated by the children of middle-class parents.

"Politicians - many of whom benefited from the very kind of education they now seek to deny to others - have for years put their own dogma and ideology before the interests and concerns of ordinary people", said Mrs May.

Kent county council today revealed plans to open a boys' grammar school in Sevenoaks along with existing proposals to expand a girls' grammar school, which it already has permission for. "And for the overwhelming majority of children who don't get in, the evidence is clear that they get worse grades and a worse education".

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"There are many, many more pressing problems for education like school places, improving vocational education and reversing the funding cuts about to hit schools". "With many Conservatives opposed to grammar schools this is not an argument that has been won".

Teaching unions have also voiced opposition to the proposals, with Kevin Courtney, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, claiming they "represent a return to the class-ridden Britain of the 1950s". "That is a hallmark of a truly meritocratic Britain".

"And if you look at pupils eligible for free school meals, you're only talking about 3% in grammar schools compared to 18-20% in other state schools".

And the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, Dr Mary Bousted, said that evidence showed grammar schools "entrench inequality" throughout life, with the earnings gap between rich and poor more than £4-an-hour wider in areas with selective schools.

In her first major policy speech since becoming prime minister, Ms May said the educational reforms were part of her government's response to June's European Union referendum.

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He also warns about the impact of reforms on faith schools and smaller institutions, which play a key role in rural and coastal communities. "[But] there are some wonderful, wonderful state schools, with outstanding results and outstanding teachers and we should be looking at that concept rather than the label of a school", he says.

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