This paper focuses on the long established diversity in the English education system - independent schools, grammar schools and religious schools - and in so doing explores tensions between education policy, politics and social justice. It explores the differential access to these different types of school, their social composition and implications for social justice and for wider society. It is argued that if social justice is to be a goal of government, further policy changes are needed over and above those that have already been made. However, the political challenges, which have limited policy changes to date, would be significant
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