More children from outside the borough attend Sutton’s top schools than those living here, figures show.

A census in May 2008 showed only 2,018 students from Sutton make up the 5,238 total population of the borough’s grammar school children.

The remaining 62 per cent of children come from outside of the area.

The news follows last week’s Sutton Guardian report that two of the leading grammar schools in Sutton are to withdraw guaranteed places for local children.

The 2010 admission proposals for Nonsuch High School for Girls and Wallington High School for Girls will give a greater emphasis to students with the highest marks living outside the area.

Since publication, the Sutton Guardian has received numerous calls from parents concerned at a “growing elitism’’ of selective schools in the borough which top the country’s league table.

Mother-of-two Louise Hassell said: “It’s a very unfair move and deeply unpopular.

“They appear very elitist proposals and will make it harder for local children to go to a local school of their choice.’’

At the time of the census there were 16,370 pupils in Sutton’s 14 secondary schools of which 11,132 went to the nine non-selective schools in the borough and 5,238 to the five selective schools.

Pupils attending non-selective schools from outside the borough made up 2,510 or 22.5 per cent.

League tables for 2009 show Wallington County Grammar School, Wilson’s School in Wallington and Nonsuch High School for Girls in Cheam were among the best 20 selective schools in the country.

Wallington School for Girls was also listed in the top 50 state secondary schools by the Sunday Times 2008 league table.

Since the Sutton Guardian reported the issue, both local Members of Parliament Tom Brake and Paul Burstow have expressed concern and said they would contact the schools to discuss the plans.

Leader of the opposition on Sutton Council Councillor Paul Scully said: “A notable minority of grammar school pupils actually live in the borough. We think this is unfair.

“We believe in Sutton’s schools for Sutton’s children.”

Wallington head Barbara Greatorex and Nonsuch deputy head Miss Jo Pomeroy both invited parents to express their concerns through official channels.

A Sutton Council spokesman said: “Sutton schools are among the best in the country and demand for places is very high. The schools use a set of criteria to decide which students to take. “For selective schools, where applicants have to pass the test, this can mean that applicants from outside Sutton get into the school, even if they do not live near it.”

Consultation on the proposals ends on Friday, February 20.