Theresa May is expected to announce a raft of controversial new measures tomorrow including plans to open new grammar schools and to increase selection on the basis of faith.
A schools green paper will also examine whether to place stiffer requirements on private schools and universities to work more closely with state schools to boost social mobility.
The prime minister is expected to announce the plans in a major speech tomorrow in a bid to stake her party’s credentials on improving life chances for all.
As TES predicted in July, the central pillar of the reforms will be a return of grammar schools, but with certain caveats such as a requirement to admit a certain percentage of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Existing grammars may also be expected to act as sponsors to academies.
It is hoped that by placing various conditions on the new grammars, such as quotas of children in receipt of free school meals, might help any legislative change through the House of Lords.
The proposals also include plans to relax the rules on new faith schools, which limits the free schools and academies to selecting just 50 per cent of pupils on the basis of faith.
The fingerprints of Mrs May’s joint chief of staff Nick Timothy appear to be on the policy. As director of the New Schools Network, he called for the abolition of the rule as he felt it was preventing faith groups from opening free schools.
Mr Timothy instead wanted to see more faith groups opening free schools, which would encourage the creation of “multi-racial and multi-religious school chains”.
The consultation document also include plans to place requirements on universities to sponsor academies if they want to increase fees. Similar conditions may also be placed on private schools.