Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Johnson not opposed to new grammar schools ‘in principle’

The Labour Party introduced a ban on the creation of new grammar schools more than 20 years ago (PA)
The Labour Party introduced a ban on the creation of new grammar schools more than 20 years ago (PA)

The Prime Minister has said he is not opposed to grammar schools “in principle” following reports that the Government could relax a ban on the creation of new selective schools.

In an interview with LBC, Boris Johnson was asked about the support for setting up new grammar schools among MPs in the “Red Wall”.

He said: “Look, I’ve always been in favour of academic competition and many schools now have policies of selective admission in sixth forms… I’m not against that in principle. All I would say is that what I want is good schools everywhere.”

The Prime Minister added: “I think that competition is a damn fine thing and very important and leads to excellence, and provided… you encourage competition in a way that doesn’t make everybody who fails feel totally miserable, you’ll get some pretty good results.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street
Prime Minister Boris Johnson in Downing Street (John Sibley/PA)

Last week, Mr Johnson said he had “never been against academic selection”, adding, “you need to look at how you do it”.

Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi has also said he wants to “spread the DNA” of grammar schools through the system with grammar schools joining a “family of multi-academy trusts” while retaining their selective status.

The Labour Party introduced a ban on the creation of new grammar schools more than 20 years ago.

The idea of opening new grammar schools enjoys support within the Conservative Party, with former teacher and Tory MP Jonathan Gullis, who sits on the Commons Education Select Committee, running a campaign to scrap the ban.

Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee, also wants to see the rule overturned, and is set to table an amendment to the Schools Bill in a move to bring about the change.

In England, there are 163 grammar schools, most of which are academies although 20 are maintained schools.

Pupils typically sit the 11-Plus exam to be selected for a place on the basis of academic ability.