Grammar schools awarded a share of £50m of government funding to widen access have seen only 22 more pupils from poorer backgrounds sit the 11-plus exam, figures reveal.

Some ​grammar schools have even seen the number of pupil premium children – those on free schools meals – applying for entry drop since the funding was introduced.

Campaigners say the figures show that the government’s flagship policy to boost social mobility through existing grammar schools has “failed” as the number of disadvantaged children applying remains low. 

Of the grammar schools that provided full data, nine of the 16 schools given funding, the number of poorer children sitting the test rose by just 3.8 per cent in the past year – from 569 to 591. 

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