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More assisted places

The Government has expanded the Assisted Places Scheme by 4,000 from this September as part of its pledge to double the 34,000 currently available. For the first time younger children will join the scheme at schools which have an integral junior department.

More than half will be for 11 to 13 year-olds and a quarter for sixth-form entry. Gillian Shephard, the Education and Employment Secretary, said 226 schools currently in the scheme had added a total of 2,800 new places; 60 schools were new to the scheme and would provide about 1,100 places, and some 100 children would benefit from aided places at specialist music and dance schools.

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