The new education secretary for England, Gillian Keegan, has hinted in an interview that a push towards creating new grammar schools will be shelved, Schools Week reports.
Mrs Keegan, who went to a comprehensive school and became an apprentice at age 16, said she was focused on “comprehensive education” despite plans by ex-prime minister Liz Truss to promote the growth of selective schools.
Schools Week also reported today that the word “selection” had disappeared from any of the briefs of education ministers as they were announced this afternoon (Tues, Nov 8).
Mrs Keegan told Nick Robinson’s Political Thinking podcast: “The thing about grammar schools is 90-odd per cent of kids just never get to go to one. There was no grammar school anywhere near Knowsley [where she went to school]. Someone will find one now, but I didn’t know about it if it existed.
“What I’m focused on is the 90-odd per cent who will go to comprehensive education, like I did.
“I’m not against them – people who went to grammar school see them as a life-changing moment, and they have changed lives like my apprenticeship changed lives, so people love them. But we’ve got to focus on the 90-odd per cent who don’t get to go.”
The latest prime minister Rishi Sunak appeared supportive of grammar schools during his initial bid for the Conservative leadership, but never made a clear commitment to lifting the ban on more grammars.