Column – Grammar Opening is Half the Battle

On Friday, I was delighted to join parents and pupils to officially open our new grammar school, the Weald of Kent Grammar School Sevenoaks Annexe.

Thanks to all the hard work of the parents, campaigners, district and county councillors, and the Sevenoaks Chronicle, Sevenoaks has finally got the grammar it has been due for nearly a century.

So it’s about time.

Parents in my constituency needed more choice.  With substantial pressure on local places causing unnecessary disappointment and stress, they wanted high-quality education to be accessible and affordable for their family.

Pupils in my constituency wanted more time.  Travelling up to Dartford or Wilmington or down to Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells every morning and evening is time-consuming.  It never made sense that bright minds in Sevenoaks needed to travel miles outside my constituency in order to get the education that’s right for them.

Now the girls attending the new annexe will have more time in the day to pursue hobbies and sports, develop friendships in the local area, and be with their families.

History is being made.  It all started in 2011 when a group of parents launched a campaign to get a grammar school to Sevenoaks.  They delivered a petition that stunned Kent County Council by achieving thousands of signatures in a matter of days.

The law was stacked against us.  But what the opening of the Weald of Kent Grammar School Sevenoaks Annexe demonstrates is the winning power of parents.

With sustained local and national media coverage over many years, we forced the issue onto the agenda and reignited the debate.  My constituents now have a proper choice of good local schools.  But our work is only half done.  There is strong local demand for a boys’ grammar too.  That’s the next campaign.

Reselection for May 2015

On Friday 29th November Michael Fallon MP was unanimously re-selected by Sevenoaks Conservatives to be the party’s candidate at the next General Election in 2015.

Commenting on his reselection, Michael said:
“I am delighted to have been re-selected as the Conservative Party candidate at the next general election.  It has been an honour to represent the people of Sevenoaks and Swanley since 1997 and I look forward to having the opportunity to continue to represent their views in Parliament.”

Chairman of Sevenoaks Conservatives, Councillor Richard Parry, said

“We are delighted to have reselected Michael to be our candidate at the next General Election. Michael has always been a diligent and popular MP and is especially regarded for his ability to resolve his constituents’ problems.  Additionally Michael has combined his ministerial work load and constituency duties seamlessly and has continued to deliver for the people of Sevenoaks and Swanley.”