Headteacher welcomes moves to get more poor children into grammar schools

High School headteacher Alan Rosen
High School headteacher Alan Rosen

A grammar school headteacher has welcomed moves to bring more disadvantaged pupils into selective education.

Nationally less than 3% of grammar school pupils are eligible for free school meals although 18% in surrounding communities fall into this category and last year Ofsted said grammar schools were ‘stuffed full’ of wealthy pupils.

There are now moves to make the schools more ‘socially balanced’.

And Alan Rosen, headteacher at Aylesbury High School, said they were already considering social background in their admissions criteria.

He said: “If we have more than our 180 girls qualify then it is one of the criteria we use.It’s not possible to let everyone in so we have to have some ways of deciding and the government requires open and transparent ways.”

The shifting admissions has raised concerns that children who are not eligible for free meals will now find it tough to secure places.

However Mr Rosen said it is more about giving the right message.

He said: “I think the reason for having it is to encourage them to apply.

“We welcome people from all backgrounds and know that anyone can flourish at grammar schools.

“So we are pleased to hear others are following suit.”