Sixteen selective schools are to expand after committing to improving access for disadvantaged pupils.

Selective schools are to introduce a range of measures to improve access for disadvantaged children after being given permission to expand, Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced.

The first 16 schools to receive funding from the £50m Selective School Expansion Fund have been confirmed and all have set out clear actions that will prioritise access for children on the pupil premium and are undertaking outreach work with local schools.

All 16 selective schools will be making changes to their admission arrangements to increase access for disadvantaged children, with over half of the schools committing to lowering the mark required to pass the entrance test for pupil premium pupils. Many more will help pupil premium children or children attending schools in less affluent areas prepare for their entrance tests.

The announcement builds on the 825,000 new school places created since 2010 and the one million this government is on course to create by 2020.

The schools are:

  • Altrincham Grammar School for Boys (Trafford)
  • Bournemouth School (Bournemouth)
  • Bournemouth School for Girls (Bournemouth)
  • Chelmsford County High School (Essex)
  • Colchester County High School (Essex)
  • Colyton Grammar School (Devon)
  • John Hampden Grammar School (Buckinghamshire)
  • Kendrick School (Reading)
  • Lawrence Sheriff School (Warwickshire)
  • Queen Mary’s Grammar School (Walsall)
  • Queen Mary’s High School (Walsall)
  • Sir Thomas Rich’s School (Gloucestershire)
  • Sir William Borlase’s Grammar school (Buckinghamshire)
  • St Michael’s Catholic Grammar School (Barnet)
  • Rochester Grammar School (Medway)
  • Wolverhampton Girls High School (Wolverhampton)

As well as prioritising access for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, the successful schools have also committed to a variety of outreach initiatives. For example, Queen Mary’s High School in Walsall will set up help desks in partner primary schools to assist parents registering children for the selection test and answer any questions they may have about the process.

The announcement builds on the Memorandum of Understanding the government agreed with the Grammar School Heads Association (GSHA) earlier this year, in which the group outlined its commitment to widening access and working with local schools to raise standards for all children.