Grammar schools have been given an additional two weeks to submit bids to expand, Tes has learned.
The additional time allowed follows a report by Tes earlier this month, which revealed that just a handful of England’s 163 grammar schools had put out consultations on expansion plans.
Those interested in expanding their school, either by increasing onsite or setting up satellite sites elsewhere, had until 19 July to apply for a tranche of the government’s £50m Selective Schools Expansion Fund for 2018-2019.
But revised guidance issued in June stipulates that applicants now have until midday 2 August to submit an application.
The deadline was extended on Friday. A spokesman for the Department for Education said:
“We have agreed to extend the deadline for the Selective Schools Expansion Fund so that interested parties can submit proposals that meet the high bar we have set for applications. This includes providing plans that demonstrate how they will increase access for disadvantaged pupils and meet local demand so that we give more families access to a good school place. ”
The money is expected to fund up to 4,000 new places a year. Any bid is subject to a minimum four-week “fair and open” local consultations. Schools need to be rated “good” or “outstanding” by Ofsted and show "ambitious and deliverable" proposals to increase access for pupils eligible for the pupil premium.
Latest figures from Comprehensive Future, the anti-selection campaign organisation, show that 30 grammar schools have now put out plans for consultation.
The new deadline means that more schools might come forward.
The DfE has been approached for comment about the pushing back of the deadline.