Greening 'open-minded' on the issue of academic selection

Credit: PA

The Education Secretary Justine Greening has said she is "open-minded" on the issue of academic selection.

Her comments come amid reports that the Government are planning to introduce new grammar schools.

Responding to an urgent question from Labour, Ms Greening told MPs in the Commons: "I'm open-minded because we can't rule anything out that could help us grow opportunity for all and give more people to do well in life."

  • 'We're looking at a range of options'

"They'll be no return to the simplistic binary choice of the past where schools separate children into winners and losers, successes or failures."

"This Government wants to focus on the future, " she added.

Miss Greening also said the government was considering a "range of options".

"I expect any new proposals to focus on what we can do to help everyone to go as far as their own individual talents and capacity for hard work will take them."

  • Labour: 'the cat is finally out of the bag'

In response to Ms Greening's statement, shadow education minister Angela Rayner exclaimed: "Wow, despite that waffle, the cat is finally out of the bag."

"The government has revealed their plans for new grammar schools in England but not in this house...we didn't even hear the word grammar then but through leaks to the Press and at a private meeting of the members opposite."

"So much for the one nation government that we were promised," she added.

Ms Greening stressed that no policy announcements have been made, adding that they would be made in due course.

But she admitted the Government did believe "selection can play a role".

"We think there is evidence to show that it does for many children who are in grammar schools, but anyhow we need to leave no stone unturned."

It comes a day after Theresa May told a private meeting of Conservative MPs that she wanted to create a "21st century education system" with an "element of selection".

The prime minister reportedly said the education system already has 'selection by house price'. Credit: PA

The On Tuesday, secret Cabinet papers signed by the Department for Education's most senior civil servant were accidentally exposed to photographers in Downing Street.

They appeared to reveal the government was planning to back new grammar schools.

The document made reference to the opening of new grammar schools. Credit: Steve Back