Could Norwich and Fenland get the first of Theresa May’s new grammar schools?

Secretary of State for education, Justine Greening visits City College, Norwich.
PHOTO: Nick Butc

Secretary of State for education, Justine Greening visits City College, Norwich. PHOTO: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Parts of the region could be some of the first to house one of the Prime Minister's new grammar schools.

Education secretary Justine Greening. Picture: Nick Butcher

Education secretary Justine Greening. Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Last September, the Prime Minister controversially confirmed her government would reverse the ban on the creation of the selective schools, which was put in place in 1998.

Though little detail has been announced, last week it was suggested in a Grammar Schools Heads' Association newsletter that the first new school could open in 2020.

The same document also said that 12 places identified as 'opportunity areas' by education secretary Justine Greening could be first in line - including Norwich and East Cambridgeshire and Fenland.

The 12 areas have been given £72m as part of a drive to drive up social mobility, a measure of life chances.


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For their supporters, grammar schools are a vehicle for social mobility, though critics argue they widen the gap between better off pupils and their poorer peers. The options for the new schools, which would open as free schools, include admitting only the top 10pc of the ability range, compared with 25pc in many grammar intakes.

They could also include a national entrance test rather than local ones.

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• What do you think of grammar schools? Email lauren.cope@archant.co.uk

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