GOVERNMENT plans to bring back grammar schools were fiercely criticised this week by constituency MP Andrew Murrison.

Last week, Prime Minister Theresa May claimed that the new policy would give pupils the opportunity to have access to a high standard of academic education, regardless of their background.

However the MP for South West Wiltshire does not support this proposal for the school's in his constituency, which include Trowbridge's John of Gaunt School and Clarendon Academy, Westbury's Matravers School and Warminster's Kingdown School.

Dr Murrison said: "I do not want the excellent comprehensive schools in my constituency to be blighted by becoming an old secondary modern school, which was effectively where pupils went if you did not get into a grammar school.

"This is a real concern for me. Comprehensives have performed excellently both on a local and national level and I do not want that destabilised.

"I am disappointed this has cropped up again as an issue. I am open to improving education standards but I have serious reservations about this."

In the coming weeks, Dr Murrison, who went to a grammar school that became a comprehensive, will write to the schools in his constituency to get their views on this issue.

"I do not know where this has come from. It was not in the manifesto last year. I am worried there will be a balkanisation of secondary modern schools in Wiltshire," he said.

"I am writing to headteachers in my constituency to canvas their views on this important issue and over the next few months we will reach a decision.

"I know people that had their life chances spoiled by secondary modern schools and I do not want to see that happen locally but you cannot have grammar schools without getting secondary modern ones."

Mr Murrison will also write to Bradford on Avon's St Laurence School as some of his constituents attend the academy.

This week it was revealed that Labour and Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords were planning to block the Prime Minister's grammar school plans, which were unveiled last Friday, where the Conservatives do not have a majority.

The proposal, which has been widely criticised from many Conservative MPs, was not included in the government's 2015 election manifesto.