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Grammar schools could lead to 'bigger gap between rich & poor' in North West

Creating more grammar schools could lead to a bigger gap between rich and poor, according to a new report.

The warnings come ahead of the Government's controversial plans to expand the current grammar school system.

The findings suggest rather than aiding social mobility, current grammars are widening division.

In a special report our correspondent Mel Barham has been hearing from headteachers, parents and pupils from across the North West on both sides of a rather heated debate.

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More Grammar schools will "widen division"

Creating more grammar schools could lead to a bigger gap between rich and poor, according to a new report.

The warnings come ahead of the Government's controversial plans to expand the current grammar school system.

The findings suggest rather than aiding social mobility, current grammars are widening division.

Ian Fenn is Headteacher at Burnage Academy for boys in Manchester.

Children's services in Wirral 'inadequate', say OFSTED

Wallasey Town Credit: ITV

Inspectors have described children's services in Wirral as inadequate, and have criticised its leadership and management.

In a report published today OFSTED inspectors say there are widespread and serious failures in the services provided by the council to children who need help and protection.

It says there has been a significant deterioration in quality since the last inspection four years ago.

Officers at Wallasey Town Hall say the authority is investing two million pounds in an improvement plan.

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Top performing schools are big draw for parents

House prices have risen sharply close to good schools, says report Credit: PA Images

Parents in England face paying a premium of £53,000 typically for their family to live near a top-performing state school.

Average property prices have reached £366,744 in the postal districts of the 30 state schools in England which achieved the strongest GCSE results in 2015, research from Lloyds Bank found.

The report says homes near Altrincham Grammar School for Girls are trading at more than £150,000 above the average in surrounding areas.

That's the sixth highest premium in the country.

Properties near Clitheroe Royal Grammar School, are £79,455 above the average.

Lloyds used Land Registry house price figures as well as 2015 GCSE performance data from the Department for Education.

"Schools with the best exam performance are proving to be an increasingly strong draw for home movers, as we've seen house prices rise sharply in locations close to such schools. "The popularity of areas close to high performing schools may mean that homes remain unaffordable for buyers on average earnings."

– Andrew Mason, Lloyds Bank
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