Blackburn's Queen Elizabeth Grammar School sees boom in pupil numbers
PUPIL numbers at East Lancashire’s oldest grammar school are booming as the school is set to open to non fee-paying students.
Queen Elizabeth Grammar School has seen numbers boosted from 435 to 720 as the school looks set to end its private status.
The school said it was overwhelmed with applications and could have tripled the junior school if they had more building space.
QEGS, founded in 1509 and given its royal charter nearly 60 years later by Queen Elizabeth I, is bidding to become a free school, funded by tax-payers.
Free education at the school begins next year if the application goes ahead. Paul Oliver at the school said: “The numbers don’t include the sixth form as we don’t have those figures yet, so there is more to come.
“Everyone who is starting this year has one year of fees to pay. It does make us anticipate an even greater boost next year. In some departments, such as the junior school we are overscribed this year and that’s before we are even a free school yet.
“Parents seem keen to get in and make the best of what we are offering. For example we had 15 per cent of A* results this year which is far more than anyone else for miles around.”
Free schools were introduced by Education Secretary Michael Gove as part of his controversial schools shake-up.
They receive their payments directly from Government, but are not controlled by the local education authority.
Students pay £10,236 per year in fees. If it becomes a free school the Government would pay £4,500 per pupil.
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