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Education: News In Brief

Thursday, July 15, 1999 Published at 15:10 GMT 16:10 UK

Grammar school ballots inquiries

Parents in four areas in England are seeking to find out how many signatures they need to trigger a ballot on converting grammar schools to comprehensive schools.

Formal requests about how many signatures are needed for any petitions submitted for Barnet, Birmingham, Kingston-upon-Thames and Ripon by July 31 to trigger a ballot have been received by the ballot administration company dealing with the issue.

But in a Commons written reply on Thursday, School Standards Minister Estelle Morris added that no ballots, in which parents will vote, had yet taken place.

Many of the 166 remaining English grammar schools are concerned about their futures, and have warned that ballot results going against them will lead to chaotic school reorganisations and the destruction of long-established sixth forms.

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