Grammar school set for expansion into Sevenoaks

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According to a consultation document, KCC say the extension is necessary to address ‘significant short and medium-term’ pressure on places and wants to open the site in 2021.

The ‘satellite school’ will see three forms of 30 pupils in Year 7. It would eventually grow to a school of 630 pupils, increasing the existing school’s population by around 50 percent – it currently has around 1,200 pupils.

The site is already occupied by a satellite of the Weald of Kent girls’ grammar, which opened in 2017 – ten miles from the original school in Tonbridge.

As the site is already approved for educational use it will not require planning permission and KCC say it also has buildings with spare capacity.

But critics argue these satellite schools are fundamentally operating as new grammars, which is illegal.

Comprehensive Future, a campaign group against selective admission to schools said KCC was attempting a ‘back door route to getting around the law’.

Nuala Burgess, Chairwoman of the group, said: “It seems extraordinary that Kent County Council is still wedded to an outdated and socially unjust education system from which only a tiny minority stand to benefit.”

Under current rules, existing grammars can only expand onto satellite sites if they are ‘genuinely part of the existing school’ but the Weald of Kent Grammar School was allowed to stop sharing pupils across both sites earlier this year.

KCC’s consultation says the Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys expansion would ‘allow the school to share its ethos and educational values with a wider cohort of pupils, whilst ensuring all systems and structures from governance and leadership to curriculum planning will remain consistent’.


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