Kent grammar schools social mobility recommendations unveiled

Pupil Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Councillors said more needed to be done to support pupils from poorer backgrounds

A series of recommendations have been announced in a bid to get more children from poorer backgrounds in to Kent grammar schools.

A Kent County Council select committee said it wanted to see greater co-ordination between primaries and grammars to identify "bright children".

Figures show 2.8% of grammar pupils are eligible for free school meals compared with 13.4% in non-selective schools.

However, the committee said in its report it could not "impose" measures.

It said this was due to the "increasing number" of schools becoming academies and the council having no control over them.

The 16 recommendations in the report range from urging grammar schools to use multiple uniform suppliers to keep costs down, to offering help with transport costs.

The report said children from poorer backgrounds need improved support during entrance tests and during the appeals process.

Matthew Bartlett, who is the headteacher of Dover Grammar School for Girls, said: "This report challenges us all to continue to keep open and to open yet wider, the doors to a grammar school education for all our young people.

"Grammar school heads will not rest until there is absolute parity of opportunity for all young people regardless of their social and economic background."

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