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Grammar Schools: What does the future hold?

Grammar 25483010 s 146x219Following the government’s announcement of its plans to enable a new wave of selective schools, Sarah Sackman looks at the current legal framework on selection in state sector and expansion of grammars, the government’s green paper Schools that Work for Everyone and identifies potential areas of litigation.

Course level: Update

Running Time: 27 minutes 

Date of recording: 23 November 2016


•    What is a grammar school?

•    Where are existing grammar schools in England located?

•    History of grammar schools

•    Current legal position

•    Where is selection currently permitted?

•    Academies and selection

•    How can grammars expand?

o    Establishment of additional sites
o    Weald of Kent School

•    Relevant factors in determining whether proposal is a genuine expansion

•    Ending selective arrangements

•    New government, new education policy

o    Schools that Work for Everyone Green Paper
o    Scrapping Education Bill and forced academisation
o    Other education bills – Children and Social Work Bill; Technical and Further Education Bill
o    Meeting demand for new school places. Secondary pupil numbers projected to increase by 10% between 2016-2020.

•    A new generation of grammars?

o    Proposals for selective schools
o    Expansion of existing grammars – with some dedicated funding
o    Creation of new selective or partially selective schools – in response to local demand, would be established as free schools
o    Allowing non-selective schools to become selective – in particular, permitting multi-academy trusts to establish centres of excellence.

•    Potential legal challenges

•    Academic and political debates

•    Public Opinion

•    Useful sources of information

Sarah SackmanSarah Sackman

Sarah has a wide-ranging practice in public law. Sarah's practice encompasses planning, environmental, education, social welfare law, housing, EU law, discrimination/equality and regulatory judicial review. Sarah acts for claimants and respondents alike and has advised a range of public authorities, NGOs, charities and private clients. She has appeared as junior in the Supreme Court and unled in the High Court and Court of Appeal.  

Sarah is on the Attorney General's C Panel and is regularly instructed by the Government. Sarah is committed to publicly funded work, as well as privately funded and public interest litigation. In appropriate cases, Sarah acts pro bono.

Sarah holds an LLM from Harvard Law School and is a visiting lecturer at the London School of Economics Cities Programme where she teaches public law and urban politics.