Kent

Action over Kent grammar schools 'social mobility'

Pupil Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Councillors said more needed to be done to support pupils from poorer backgrounds

Head teachers are giving evidence to a committee set up to tackle social mobility in Kent grammar schools as councillors admit more should be done.

The committee will hear from seven head teachers on Friday.

Figures in October showed 2.8% of grammar pupils are eligible for free school meals compared with 13.4% in non-selective schools.

Councillors are also examining grammar schools' admission criteria and their outreach work to support poorer pupils.

Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Vye said the statistics were "appallingly low" and the gap was still too wide.

He said he believed more could be done in primary schools to bring children from poor households to a level where they could face the Kent Test - the county's selective 11-plus - "with confidence".

Conservative councillor Jenny Whittle said figures were improving with grammar pupils eligible for free school meals now over 3%.

Adding that she would like the figure to double, she said: "Clearly we need to do more."

Both councillors are on the Kent County Council committee set up to tackle social mobility in the county's grammars. The committee is chaired by Ms Whittle.

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