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News - 7 May 2014

Grammars to give poor pupils admissions priority

The Department for Education (DfE) has confirmed that it has given permission for 30 grammar schools in England to change their admission procedures.

According to the Grammar School Heads Association (GSHA), another 58 are considering a similar change.

Among the schools making the change in 2015 is Rugby High School, where the head teacher Charlotte Marten is GSHA chairwoman. It will offer 10 out of 120 places to students on free school meals who meet or are within ten marks of the school's 11-plus admissions criteria.

The King Edward VI group which runs five grammar schools in Birmingham also confirmed plans to change its admissions criteria for next year.  The group has expanded the overall number of places at its schools and aims to take 20% of pupils on free school meals.

However, Ms Marten said she did not expect all of England's 164 grammar schools to follow suit.
"What we are doing will not necessarily be right for all schools in all circumstances", she said.

Lavinia Newman, founder of ABDS and an active school governor comments:
“Last year a report by the charity argued for an end to a culture of coaching pupils for 11-plus tests so that poor bright children are not excluded from grammar schools.  The report said tests should be changed regularly so that they are tutor proof and urged grammar schools to offer test preparation classes to all candidates.”

The government said its pupil premium priority scheme allows all maintained schools to apply to the Secretary of State to give preference to pupils on free school meals: "to give children from low-income families a better chance of accessing good schools which they may not otherwise have considered."

If you need any help and advice with Free Schools, Academy Schools or Charities, contact Lavinia Newman or Peter Ham now to discuss how ABDS can help bring their experience to these matters.

ABDS Chartered Certified Accountants of Southampton.
Tel: 023 8083 6900  E-mail: abds@netaccountants.net

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Great with people  
Clear and precise with advice
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In touch with issues that face our clients
Mindful of our client’s long term strategic goals

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