Extending the selective grammar school system beyond the county with new Buckinghamshire-led ‘super schools’ may further benefit out-of-county children and leave our pupils at the bottom of the class, a campaign group warns.

Marlow-based Sir William Borlase’s Grammar School wants to build a “satellite school” in Maidenhead, mirroring plans for a ground-breaking “annexe” school in Kent, approved by the government last week.

Parents and groups opposed to grammar schools fear the move would further damage the chances of Bucks pupils, with experts pointing to new figures which show more out-of-county children than ever qualifying for places.

And with pupils receiving their 11+ results this week, campaign group Local, Equal, Excellent (LEE) has slammed the Bucks selective system and say an extension is not the answer.

But in what seems an early show of support for the plans, county council education chief Zahir Mohammed told the Bucks Free Press that he will support any school which wants to expand.

LEE spokesman Rebecca Hickman said: “Nicky Morgan [secretary of state for education] said very clearly that the Kent decision would not open the floodgates in other areas, so it would be a real shame if schools were to start wasting thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money investigating a proposal that may have little chance of success.

“The reality is that creating a new annexe to a Bucks school in the neighbouring county of Berkshire is unlikely to bring benefits for Bucks children.

“It may in fact attract more non-Bucks children into our selective system, with the knock-on effect that even more local children end up getting turned down for grammar school places.”

On Tuesday, councillors in Berkshire kick-started a bid to spend £200,000 exploring the idea of developing an ‘extension’ of the Marlow school in The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

Borlase declined to comment as we went to press, with a statement expected to be released tomorrow (Friday) after behind-the-scenes discussions were held with governors and other legal considerations were made.

Although nothing has been agreed by Buckinghamshire County Council, cabinet member for education, Cllr Zahir Mohammed, says excellent education will always be supported.

Bucks Free Press:

Zahir Mohammed.

He said: “We want the best future for our children, so anything that supports that we will assist.

“If a grammar school wants to expand, or if any other school wants to expand for that matter, then we will look to support them.”

This week LEE campaigners released documents which they say proves the new 11+ examination which was rolled-out in the county two years ago has failed.

Figures show an increase of more than 330 out-of-Bucks students qualifying for grammar schools in the last two years while numbers of children passing the Bucks exam stands at only 25 per cent, although it is slightly up on last year’s 24 per cent.

Of those who sat the 11+ in September, 46 per cent of the 3164 children from outside Bucks won the right to attend a grammar, while only 25 per cent of the 5431 pupils from inside the county qualified.

Bucks Free Press:

Campaigners added results show declining pass rates for Bucks state school pupils, an increasing gap between successes of poorer and wealthier areas of Bucks, lower pass rates for children on Free School Meals and higher pass rates for private school children.

Ms Hickman said: “Our opposition to selection is not because we oppose excellence; it is because we demand it for every child. The evidence shows quite clearly that selection is a policy for the few not the many.

“Far from opening doors, it shuts them - and most often in the face of the least well off.

“The problem is that the logic of selection relies on the practise of exclusion.

She added: “And what that means is that grammar schools in Bucks bear less and less resemblance to the richly diverse communities they are supposed to serve.”

A group representing head teachers from grammar schools in Buckinghamshire says it is yet to officially discuss extending its reach outside the county.

The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools group is a committee of leading teachers from grammar schools - the majority of which have academy status and fall outside of BCC's control.

New chairman David Hudson said: “The Buckinghamshire Grammar Schools have not yet had the opportunity to discuss collectively their position with regard to any extension of grammar school provision.

“Individual schools are in the process of evaluating their response to the Education Secretary’s recent decision in Kent.”

Hitting back at claims of 11+ struggles among children in the county, he added: “Results for the 2015 entry of pupils show an increase in the percentage of pupils from Buckinghamshire primary schools achieving the qualifying mark for entry into grammar school.

“The results also show a close correlation with results achieved by pupils in their primary school assessments.”