Downing Street ‘open’ to lifting ban on new high schools

The campaign is backed by senior Tories, including Sir Graham Brady, the chairman of the 1922 committee, who said there was a “ground swell” of support for high schools in the party.

‘It seems really silly that after 12 years of a Tory-led government we still have a Labor law that bans any new grammar, even if anyone wants it,’ he said.

“It’s fundamentally a conservative principle to encourage excellence and give parents choice. It would be a very simple amendment to the Schools Bill. It’s an obvious thing to do and a popular thing to do. There is an outpouring of support on the Tory benches for the grammars, including quite a few so-called Red Wall MPs.

Mr Zahawi is said to privately support grammar schools and has three in his own constituency of Stratford-on-Avon. In 2016, he wrote an article for the ConservativeHome website praising the “exceptional” education grammars provide, the opportunities they provide for “children from all walks of life” and expressed support for their expansion. .

A Department for Education spokesperson said: ‘High schools are a valuable part of the school system, with a great ethos, and we want to spread their DNA through the wider education system by encouraging them to join or create multi-academy trusts.

“We will protect their selective nature if they do, but there are no plans to allow new high schools to open.”

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