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Funding increase for growing grammar schools ‘a welcome vote of confidence’ says MP

PUBLISHED: 15:52 17 May 2018 | UPDATED: 15:52 17 May 2018

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has praised government plans to offer grammar schools further funding to create more places for students. Picture: Ursula Hudson

Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has praised government plans to offer grammar schools further funding to create more places for students. Picture: Ursula Hudson

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Dartford MP Gareth Johnson has praised government plans to offer grammar schools further funding to create more places for students.

Education Secretary Damien Hinds confirmed plans in an announcement last week (May 11) to provide new good school places in areas where they are needed most.

Part of this is the government launch of the Selective Schools Expansion Fund, with £50 million available for existing selective schools to expand their premises to create more places.

Mr Johnson, who attended Dartford Grammar School, said: “This announcement is a welcome vote of confidence for grammar schools.

“Grammar schools form an important part of a diverse educational system.

“In Dartford we have four grammar schools which complement the educational opportunities available for local children.

“It’s important to recognise that all children have different talents and schools should reflect this.”

Mr Johnson also said that the money will maximise opportunities for poorer children, adding: “Our grammar schools are good schools and we should enable good schools to expand and flourish.”

Research shows that pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds attain better results in selective schools, and around 60pc of these schools already prioritise these children in their admissions.

The plans will create more school places, giving parents greater choice and raising education standards – including in disadvantaged areas.

It will include:

•A new wave of free school applications, building on the 212,000 places created by free schools since 2010

•£50 million funding to expand the number of places at existing good or outstanding selective schools alongside measures to give more disadvantaged pupils the opportunity to attend these schools

•New support for faith schools where there is demand for good school places

•Fresh agreement with the independent schools sector to help improve outcomes for pupils of all backgrounds.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: “Children only get one chance at an education and they deserve the best, wherever they live and whatever their background.

“Standards are rising in our schools and we’ve created hundreds of thousands of new places since 2010 but we want to make sure every family can access a good school.”

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