Grammar schools 'should look for bright pupils in poor homes'

Grammar schools should be barred from becoming academies until they recruit bright pupils from disadvantaged homes, a conference heard yesterday.

Sir Cyril Taylor, a former senior government adviser to both the Conservatives and Labour, attacked the record of the country's 164 remaining grammar schools in recruiting students from poor backgrounds. Research shows that only 1 per cent of their pupils are entitled to free school meals, compared to a national average of around 14 per cent.

"If grammar schools want to become academies, they should be required to go onto their council estates and find the very bright children who could have their potential confirmed by going to these schools," he told a conference in London held to discuss the future of academies and free schools.

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