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Grammar schools to offer lower pass marks to poorer pupils

Category: In the News
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Rachel Roberts of the Independent quotes our chairman Peter Lampl on fairer admissions to grammar schools.

Grammar schools could be forced to lower the 11-plus pass mark for children from lower-income families in order to end the stranglehold middle-class pupils have on places, Government sources have said.

The proposed reforms, to be announced next month, came as Prime Minister Theresa May revealed she is poised to allow the creation of new grammar schools for the first time since 1998.

Government insiders told The Times that rules governing social mobility requirements for new selective schools could be rolled out to the existing 163 grammar schools.

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Peter Lampl, chair of the Sutton Trust, told The Independent the proposal was a step in the right direction for improved social mobility.

“We welcome the expectation that grammar schools do more to attract disadvantaged pupils, including by lowering the pass rate for this group. But we want to see fairer admissions policies working in existing grammar schools before their number is allowed to increase.”

The Trust found that 18 per cent of pupils were given private tuition to help get them through the 11-plus – although the real figure could be even higher as not all parents admit that their children need extra help.

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Read the full article here. The Sutton Trust’s research was also cited in a Daily Mail article on the same topic.