Divisions emerge in KCC over grammar policy

Premier Inn Tunbridge Wells

EDUCATION chiefs at Kent County Council have rejected accusations that they are failing to act on a series of recommendations aimed at encouraging bright children from poorer backgrounds to apply for grammar schools. The recommendations on how to improve social mobility were made in a report by the cross-party Grammar schools and social mobility Select Committee at Kent County Council [KCC].
But Conservative councillor Andrew Bowles said the committee, of which he is a member, will have to ask ‘hard questions’ of KCC as a year after the report was published ‘none’ of its recommendations have been fully implemented. He added: “Thecommittee will be addressing the issue.” However, his fellow Conservative Cllr Roger Gough (Sevenoaks North), who is the Cabinet member for education, rejected the criticism, saying progress
on many of the recommendations was underway.
This includes moves by several grammars to allocate places in their admissions arrangements to poorer brighter pupils based on measures such as free school meals and Pupil Premium money. “The changes some grammars have made in admissions have been very helpful and it is the right thing to do,” he said.
“If schools do not have signifi cant numbers of pupils from more modest backgrounds taking the test, we are not going to get very far. I would not accept that progress has not been made.”

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