I’m sure this will attract a mixed reaction:
The Coalition is planning to allow hundreds of secondary schools to control their own entry policies and Michael Gove warmly praised the system, which allocates places according to academic ability and reserves many places for children with the weakest performance.
“Fair-banding” admissions schemes are often seen as a way of breaking the middle-class dominance in the best-performing state secondaries since they prevent affluent parents from monopolising places by paying a premium to live in their catchment areas.
Banding generally means that 11 year-olds applying for school places sit an IQ-based “attainment test” and are then divided into seven or nine ability groups. The same number of children from each ability group are then given places at the school.
I see the government is “planning to allow” not proposing to compel, so I look forward to learning what choices schools make. Grammar schools have the freedom to continue their policies if they become academies.
As my predecessor, Paul Goodman, points out at ConservativeHome, the key problem is that there are too many applicants for each good school place. That is the problem we must solve and that is why I am a supporter of the Government’s education policies.