Newspaper headlines: Grammar school plans and 'safe' statins

Theresa May Image copyright PA

Theresa May's plans to shake up the school system make plenty of headlines again in Friday's newspapers.

The Daily Mail says the PM will promise to allow the opening of new grammar schools for the first time since 1998 under the "biggest education revolution in decades".

It says Mrs May's revolution goes far further than expected, by also allowing state schools to apply to become grammars - a move which will provoke a "ferocious backlash from the left-wing teaching establishment", the paper says.

The Times says the reforms would mark the "biggest change to the English education system since the late 1960s" when grammar schools began to become all-ability comprehensives. The paper notes that Mrs May was herself educated at grammar school and briefly at a Catholic school.

'Lucky few'

The Daily Telegraph claims selection in education can expand all children's opportunities. "Grammar schools undoubtedly do just that: just ask one of the countless Labour politicians that went to one," the paper states in its leader column.

But the paper also warns Mrs May might need to think again about the suggestion that new grammars take children on the basis of quotas by income.

"It would be unfair to deny places to locals simply because they have an income over an arbitrary threshold," especially as independent schools "are now beyond the means of many middle-class professionals", it says.

The Guardian disagrees. It claims grammar schools "favour affluent children and obstruct the poorest". The paper says the individual experiences of those who benefited from the system, including many MPs, are not a basis for policy-making.

"Even if grammar schools boosted social mobility for the lucky few, they left many more behind and they certainly aren't helping now," the paper says.


Eye-catching headlines:

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Image caption Labradoodles Kennedy (L) and Clinton (R) win paw-litical success in Westminster
  • Labour-doodles: In other top dog news, Labour MP Jonathan Reynolds won the Westminster dog of the year awards with his Labradoodles Kennedy and Clinton. The i says they beat off other MPs' pooches to become only the second Labour winners in nine years.
  • Eat, Pray, (new) Love: Bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert, whose memoir about finding her husband was made into a film starring Julia Roberts, has announced her marriage has ended after falling in love with her female best friend, the Telegraph reports.

Rescued baby

The Sun leads with a dramatic picture of a baby being rescued from the back of a lorry after being smuggled into the UK from Calais.

Under the headline "Britain's tiniest migrant", the paper says the 20-day-old baby girl was born in the so-called Jungle camp and was discovered in the back of a cramped truck at a service station on the M1 along with 10 people from Iraq.

The paper reports how drivers stopped at the service station heard shouts of "no air" coming from the back of the lorry before police were called to open the vehicle.

One onlooker described it as a "pitiful sight" when the baby along with a 16-year-old girl and three-year-old toddler were found hiding inside, the paper says.

'Safe' statins

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The truth about the cholesterol-fighting drug statins has finally been revealed, according to the front page of the Daily Mirror.

The paper reports on the findings of a major review published in the Lancet into the drugs which says claims they could cause problems including liver disease have been exaggerated.

It says fears over the side effects have led hundreds of thousands of patients to ditch the pills, "putting their lives at risk".

Meanwhile the Daily Express says the number of people taking statins could rise to 12 million if the majority of men over 50 and women over 60 now took the drug as a precautionary measure.

The Times says people should be "reassured" by the review but adds the decision to take them should be "up to patients and their doctors".

The paper says the study is "an attempt to lay to rest a long-running controversy", but adds that "the credibility of medical science publishing is also at stake" to ensure patients get the right information.

Incredible Storey

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"You did it, mummy!" The Daily Mail rejoices under a picture of cyclist Sarah Storey who won gold in Rio to become Great Britain's greatest female Paralympian.

The 38-year-old cyclist celebrated her 12th gold medal with a kiss from her three-year-old daughter Louisa.

The Times says that despite her age and becoming a mother, Storey proved she was in better shape than at the London 2012 Games by giving a "dominant performance".

"Sarah seals a fairy Storey" the Sun says. It reports the C5 individual pursuit rider produced a "stunning victory" and still has three more chances to win further medals during the Games.