I have been working with the Government and the head of Wallington County Grammar School in Sutton to open a new sattelite site for the school in south Croydon.
This new campus will be open to local families and give them the chance to give their kids a grammar school education at a local site.
I am pushing hard both publicly and privately to get this done as quickly as possible. Given that giving children better access to grammar schools is a flagship Government policy, I would hope that it can be dealt with in a matter of weeks or months.
The plans for the satellite site started as an idea 18 months ago, but only recently has it started to gain momentum.
The Government has announced a £50 million scheme for the creation of new grammar schools and I have spoken with the Secretary of State making clear that we will be applying for a portion of the funding.
This is a massively significant milestone – it will turn the Prime Minister’s announcement into concrete action. If this establishes the model for new satellite grammars then I would hope many other grammars will follow the same process.
Grammar schools provide an opportunity for children from ordinary backgrounds to fulfil their potential. Wallington is one of the best grammars for demonstrating that it can improve its social mix of children; it has already increased its free school meal intake.