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Caitriona Ruane ‘out of line’ over grammars’ funding

Caitriona Ruane had no right to ask how grammar schools are funding their independent entrance tests, according to new legal advice given to the schools.

The Governing Bodies Association (GBA), which represents 51 voluntary grammars, commissioned legal opinion from counsel after the Education Minister wrote to the schools running tests and asked them to outline how they funded the exams.

Ms Ruane “invited” the “breakaway” schools to set out how their tests were funded and the justification if public funds were used.

GBA director John Hart said: “It is clear from the legal advice we received that the law is set up to afford schools degrees of autonomy on budgets. That is common sense as schools are best placed to decide what to spend their money on.”

Mr Hart claimed that the minister’s letters were an attempt to intimidate schools with “speculative legal threats”.

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