More 'modest' pilot of new grammar schools could be on the table, says Tory MP

11th June 2017 at 12:24
Influential MP Graham Brady says he thinks grammar schools could secure support from Labour MPs

Conservative MP Graham Brady, a staunch supporter of selective education, has said he believes a "modest" pilot of grammar schools could still be introduced – despite the outcome of this week's general election. 

Speaking on BBC's Sunday Politics this morning, Mr Brady, the chair of the influential 1922 committee of MPs, indicated that the focus could change slightly on opening some new selective schools in urban areas. 

Following the Conservatives' failure to secure a majority, sources have suggested it will mean an end to plans to overturn a ban on creating new grammar schools – which were set out in the party's manifesto. 

And the grammar school expansion plans took another blow yesterday when Nick Timothy, Theresa May's joint chief of staff, resigned. He was a key figure behind May's push to create new grammar schools and allow existing grammar schools to expand."

Speaking this morning, Mr Brady said: "If we can’t get things through Parliament we can’t do them.

"I certainly would suggest that we could look, for instance, at a rather modest sort of pilot looking at opening some state grammar schools in inner urban areas – especially where education at the moment is not offering great opportunities to people of lower income backgrounds.

"I think that is something that would command quite broad support. I even hear from friends on the Labour backbenches that they would quite like to see that approach taken.

"So I hope we won't have to stop altogether but certainly we will have to trim down our policies carefully to what we think Parliament will support."

Meanwhile, former education secretary Nicky Morgan refused to rule out grammar school expansion plans entirely. 

But speaking on ITV's Robert Peston on Sunday she said she did not think the proposals would happen in the way they had envisaged.

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