On 13 June 2022, Baroness Blower (Labour) introduced her private member’s bill, the School (Reform of Pupil Selection) Bill [HL], in the House of Lords. The bill would seek to prohibit state‑funded schools from admitting students wholly or partially based on criteria relating to ability or aptitude. It would do this by introducing a phased plan to bring admission policies for England’s remaining selective schools in line with every state-funded comprehensive secondary school. At the time of writing no date for second reading in the House of Lords has been scheduled. 

At present, there are 163 grammar schools in England. These schools can select all or most of their pupils based on academic ability or aptitude. Legislation prohibits new maintained grammar schools from opening and current schools from having selective admission arrangements. 

The government has previously praised grammar and selective schools. It is currently seeking through the Schools Bill to protect the status of academy grammar schools and to ensure that the only way to remove a grammar school’s selective status is following a parental ballot process. Additionally, between 2018 and 2020 it ran a fund to support selective schools in expanding and improving access for disadvantaged children to attend such schools. 

Further, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss—who are both standing to be leader of the Conservative Party and replace Boris Johnson as prime minister—have supported the opening of new grammar schools in the future.


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