He added: “I would remind Prof Toope that grammar school students are drawn from a very wide income spectrum and simply equating grammar schools with independent schools, where the vast majority of parents pay over £100,000 for a single child’s education, is like comparing apples with pears.
“Equally, there are comprehensive schools in some areas with more affluent intakes than grammars, which underlines the inherent difficulty of the kind of approach at which the Vice-Chancellor seems to be hinting.”
Robert McCartney QC, the chairman of the National Grammar Schools Association, said: “Instead of looking at results and acting upon that, universities are now introducing political and social engineering, which does not work. It’s obviously discrimination.
“To take as your criteria for refusing someone entry to a university that he has had the benefit of a better education than some others is crass. It’s a sort of outworking of the woke, equality and diversity nonsense which has been going on for the last 10 to 15 years.”
Robert Halfon, the chairman of the Commons education select committee, said: “As far as I’m concerned, grammar schools are state schools as well. So, I don’t know why they’ve made this distinction.”