There is some damning data here in a parliamentary answer
to Labour MP Bill Esterson which shows how many pupils in Year 7 last year were in grammar schools and how many of those were eligible for FSM, had statements of SEN, were looked after or came from a black ethnic group.
Judging by these figures, anybody still clinging to the notion that selective schools provide ladders up for poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged children will have their work cut out defending their position.
While around 4 per cent of the Year 7 population was in a grammar school in 2010, only 0.6 per cent of pupils eligible for Free School Meals and with statements of SEN were admitted, 0.4 per cent of looked after 11 year olds were and 2.3 % of pupils from a black ethnic group. The entire grammar school sector appears to have admitted only 70 pupils with statements last year,
The fact that the proportion of pupils in any of these groups is running so far behind the national figure show clearly that selective tests at 11, accompanied by a booming and expensive private tuition industry, are discriminatory and should fall foul of any equality legislation.
The Tories like to proclaim their commitment to opening up access to all schools, especially those that are oversubscribed and perform well in league tables, to children from poorer backgrounds. Hard to see how they can deliver on that while maintaining their commitment to the existing use of the 11 plus in over a quarter of all education authorities.