The controversial expansion at the Weald of Kent Grammar and Trinity School site, will see the selective boys’ school increase its annual intake of pupils from 210 to 300.
Kent County Council [KCC] say the extension is necessary to address ‘significant short and medium-term’ pressure on selective places in Kent and wants to open the school in September next year when 90 pupils will start Year 7.
The ‘satellite school’ will eventually grow to 630 pupils, increasing the existing school’s population by around 50 percent – it currently has around 1,200 pupils.
It is hoped it will remove the need for pupils in Sevenoaks to travel to schools in Tunbridge Wells and elsewhere, due to a lack of selective provision in the district.
But critics argue the satellite school is a ‘back door route to getting around the law’.
However, at a meeting at County Hall last week, KCC agreed to press ahead with the plans.
Ian Watts, Area Education Officer, assured councillors the move would not breach the current maximum quota for selective places in Kent, which stands at 25 per cent, and that the scheme had ‘overwhelming support’ from parents as well as local residents in Sevenoaks.