West Sussex MP Nick Gibb is to face questions about the government’s plans to expand the number of grammar schools and extend selective education in England.
Schools minister Mr Gibb will attend an ‘evidence check’ with the Commons Education Select Committee on November 8, which has been called to get “underneath the rhetoric” of the policy.
Last month, Prime Minister Theresa May said she would lift the ban on opening new grammar schools but would not force them on areas that did not want them.
The move brought immediate opposition from some quarters. Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said allowing schools to select children by ability “entrenches division and increases inequality”.
And Jon Coles, chief executive of United Learning, one of the country’s largest academy chains, said creating more grammar schools would do little to raise standards.
Select committee chairman, Neil Carmichael MP, said: “Since the Government announced its Green Paper proposing an extension to selective education, the air has been thick with the sound of claims and counter-claims on the benefits and disadvantages of grammar schools.
“As a committee, it’s important we try to get underneath the rhetoric and examine the evidence.
“This session gives us a valuable opportunity to hear the cases for and against grammar schools, and their effects on academic attainment, social mobility, and on the education system as a whole.”
As well as hearing from Mr Gibb, the committee will take evidence from academics and policy experts.
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