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Independent voice saves grammars

GRAMMAR schools in Birmingham should be safe from closure - pending the outcome of parental ballots - following recommendations from an independent commission.

If city education chiefs accept the report, it will signal a u-turn in the approach and attitude to selection in Birmingham.

The commission urged that there should be no change to the status of grammar schools, but stressed that they must work more closely with comprehensives, sharing resources and good practice.

Grammars will also be asked to consider providing some form of special needs teaching.

Six years ago six of the city's seven grammars opted out of local authority control following repeated threats to their existence.

The commission, which was chaired by Sukhvinder Stubbs, chief executive of the Runnymede Trust, spent six months considering evidence in a general review of secondary schools ordered by the city's chief education officer, Tim Brighouse.

The findings will be considered by the education committee next week.

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