FAMILIES in towns like Didcot will not have grammar schools imposed on them, Education Secretary Justine Greening said yesterday.

She spoke on the controversial subject during a visiting to the University Technical College at Great Western Park which is now entering its second year.

When asked if a grammar school could run alongside UTC Oxfordshire and other schools in the town, Ms Greening said: “That’s up to people in Didcot.”

She added that the Government would be responding to parental choice and consulting on how to get the choice right.

Ms Greening said: “We are consulting so we get the process right - in the end it is going to be up to parents and local communities.

“Part of the consultation is looking at the grammar schools we already have, to make sure they are providing more access and opportunities for children from disadvantaged backgrounds.”

Last month in the Commons, answering a question from Labour, following reports Prime Minister Theresa May had agreed the Government should build a new wave of ‘inclusive grammar schools’, Ms Greening confirmed this was proposed, and said it would be part of a diverse, modern education system that would not return to the past of wholesale 11-plus exams.

There are now about 260 pupils at the UTC in Greenwood Way after it doubled its intake after opening in September 2015.

The college specialises in science and engineering alongside a core curriculum and has the backing of local firms.

Ms Greening, who visited the UTC with Wantage MP Ed Vaizey, added: “The UTC only opened last year - you can already see the students love being here - it’s a different and better alternative to the schools they were in.

“We are going to look at how we can learn from UTCs like this one - it could lead to other UTCs around the country.

“It’s a great way of plugging our skills shortage in Brexit Britain.”

Principal of the UTC Owain Johns said: “We are delighted to be able to show the Education Secretary the success of the UTC - recently we doubled in size and now have 260 students.

“There is already lots of interest in year three from parents.”

During her tour Ms Greening met Richard Noble OBE, director of Bloodhound SSC, a project to build a supersonic car designed to travel at 1,000mph, which has its headquarters at the UTC.

She also talked to pupils in the canteen including Elliot Harvey, 15, from Didcot, and Victoria Bateman, 14, from Witney.

Elliot said: “I have been here for over a year and it has really exceeded my expectations.

“I would love to work in motorsport and after moving here I got the chance to do some work experience with the Williams Formula 1 team.”

Victoria added: “I like doing engineering so I decided to come here so I could specialise - it was definitely the right decision.”

TV presenter and physicist Brian Cox visited the college in January.