Theresa May’s plan to open new grammar schools is unlikely to be implemented after the Conservatives failed to secure a parliamentary majority, a senior Conservative backbencher suggested.
Graham Brady, chair of the influential 1922 Committee, told the BBC’s Sunday Politics that his party could be forced to settle for introducing a “rather modest pilot” in place of its manifesto pledge to “lift the ban on the establishment of selective schools.”
The 2017 general elections saw Theresa May fall eight seats short of a majority, and she is now relying on the support of the DUP’s ten MPs in order to pass legislation.
This means that all proposed law will have to be carefully considered to ensure they will be acceptable to both the Northern Irish party and to the Conservatives.
A prominent campaigner for grammar schools, Mr Brady said “I would be upset if we couldn’t make any progress on allowing people to have the choice of grammar schools but reality asserts itself. If we can’t get things through Parliament, we don’t do them.
“I would certainly suggest that we could look at a rather modest sort of pilot looking at opening some state grammar schools in urban areas, particularly those where education at the moment is not offering great opportunities to people from lower income backgrounds.”
Mr Brady says opening a few grammar schools in inner-city areas could be all that is achievable on one of the Conservatives’ flagship education policies.
Duncan McAllister, DTM Legal Partner and Executive Member of the Cheshire West and Chester Association of Governing Bodies , says: “The Education sector continues to be in flux, the uncertainty in policy and increasing financial constraints makes life more difficult for schools to plan for and deliver educational excellence. At DTM we pride ourselves at being able to provide pragmatic and results driven advice for schools and colleges.”