Press release from Kent County Council:
Work is ready to start in the next few months in Sevenoaks to build a new grammar school annexe, the first for 20 years.
The Weald of Kent Grammar School Academy Trust has now submitted its proposal, in line with the requirement identified by Kent County Council to develop the new annexe to the Secretary of State for Education, Nicky Morgan.
Planning consent has already been obtained to build the school on the old Wildernesse School site in Seal Hollow Road and contractors are ready to start work, subject to the Secretary of State’s sign-off.
Kent County Council understands that the submission by the all-girls Weald of Kent is compliant with the regulations set up by the coalition government to establish a new grammar school annexe for girls.
Leader of Kent County Council Paul Carter said: “I am delighted that we now have a robust proposal to put to the Secretary of State for her sign-off. School rolls are rising dramatically and we must be allowed to expand grammar schools in line with all other categories and types of school. This is good news for parents with daughters and we will continue to work in earnest to find a solution for their sons.
“I am also delighted by the support from Theresa May and Michael Fallon for the establishment of further grammar school provision in their constituencies.”
Mr Fallon said: “I am delighted to support this proposal from the Weald of Kent Grammar School for a satellite annexe in Sevenoaks.
“It remains deeply unfair to parents in my constituency that we are the only area in Kent not to have a grammar school. This proposal will not only go some way to eliminating this injustice, but also produce the additional places we need in west Kent.
“I hope the Secretary of State makes a speedy decision.”
David Bower, Chair of Governors at Weald of Kent Grammar School said: “As the existing provider of education to 500 pupils from Sevenoaks we believe Weald of Kent is ideally placed to establish an annexe, offering an additional 90 places per year group.
“Recognised by Ofsted as ‘Outstanding’ we are confident in our ability to deliver the highest quality of education possible for the children in Sevenoaks and that we can extend our unique ethos to embrace students and staff across a split site operation to feel part of a single community.”