Schools: Grammar Schools

House of Lords written question – answered on 27th February 2012.

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Photo of Lord Willis of Knaresborough Lord Willis of Knaresborough Chair, Science and Technology: Sub-Committee I (Higher education in STEM subjects)

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether existing grammar schools can (1) take over failing schools, and (2) merge with existing schools; and, if so, whether they can retain their selective entrance criteria.

Photo of Lord Hill of Oareford Lord Hill of Oareford The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

Grammar schools, whether maintained or academy convertors, can retain their selective admissions criteria in any proposed merger, but that process cannot be used to establish an entirely new selective school.

We believe that where a school is failing, the best way of providing quick and sustainable improvement is for the school to become an academy with a strong, supportive sponsor. A suitable selective school whether a maintained grammar school or an academy, can act as a sponsor. The selective school would retain its admissions criteria, but these could not be extended to any school they sponsor as the school remains a separate legal entity.

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