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What the papers say – May 11

Reaction to Dame Barbara Windsor’s health battle and controversy over Government funding for grammar schools top the headlines.


What the papers say - May 11

What the papers say - May 11

What the papers say - May 11

Controversial plans to pump £50 million into creating more places at grammar schools feature prominently on the front pages on Friday, as well as reaction to the news of Dame Barbara Windsor’s Alzheimer’s diagnosis.

The Daily Mail describes the school expansion fund as a “new dawn for grammar schools”, reporting that the Tories had fulfilled their pledge to increase choice for parents.

The paper also says that selective schools bidding for the money must be able to prove they are taking steps to increase admissions of pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Ministers claim the move will mean more children will go to a good school, says the i. But the news was met with an “outcry” from state sector teachers struggling with budget cuts, it adds.

The cash is the first slice of a £200 million fund which could result in 16,000 extra grammar places being created over the next four years, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The Daily Mirror brands the move a “scandal”, saying that union leaders had blasted the move, insisting the money should go to headteachers struggling with a lack of funds.

The paper also features an interview with one of Dame Barbara’s closest friends, Christopher Biggins, who says she is beginning to forget why the public love her.

The Sun carries the second part of its interview with Dame Barbara’s husband Scott Mitchell, who admits the star struggles to remember they are married.

“Carry on Babs”, urges the Daily Star, as it reports that an “army” of fans and friends have rallied around her following her diagnosis.

Meanwhile, the Guardian leads on Theresa May’s “unprecedented” apology for Britain’s role in the “appalling” treatment of a Libyan dissident and his wife who were the victims of a rendition operation mounted with the help of MI6.

And both the The Times and the Metro report on the court case of a mother and her two daughters accused of plotting terror attacks at the British Museum and Palace of Westminster.

Elsewhere, the Daily Express leads on claims by cardiologists that a tax on sugary food could wipe out diabetes in three years, while the Financial Times reports on BT slashing 13,000 jobs in its “most significant overhaul in a decade”.