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Lift the ban on the establishment of selective schools

Last updated: 08:45am 14 January 2019

We will lift the ban on the establishment of selective schools, subject to conditions, such as allowing pupils to join at other ages as well as eleven.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.50

Our verdict

A selective school is a school that admits students on the basis of some sort of selection criteria, usually academic (Wikipedia). In the UK these are mostly grammar schools, which select pupils based on their grades from the 11-plus exam, taken at the end of primary education. Since 1998, there has been a ban on the creation of new selective schools, although existing selective schools have been allowed to expand.

The previous government was prepared to lift this ban, carrying out a public consultation in 2016. However, after the 2017 general election this promise wasn’t included in the Queen’s Speech, which is usually when the government’s plans are laid out. Former Education Secretary Justine Greening later confirmed that “the ban on opening new grammar schools will remain in place.”

There’s been no further official word since the Former Education Secretary’s response, so we’re taking her statement as the government’s current position and marking this policy as ‘broken’. If we hear anything to the contrary we will revisit this promise. Follow this policy to get updates.

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