I am starting to have problems with secondary admissions reported in and around Gravesham. Children in Higham and Shorne have not all been allocated places in their local school, Thamesview, which is once again heavily oversubscribed, but have instead been sent to St George's or Meopham. As expected, the BSF
factor appears to have played a significant part in choice of school. Thamesview, Northfleet Technology College and St John's Catholic Comprehensive are all well oversubscribed, along with Northfleet School for Girls which is being substantially rebuilt. .............
St George's CofE Comprehensive and Meopham School, the two non selective schools that lost out when the BSF programme was scrapped in the summer, have seen their popularity slump. Both schools have suffered from other factors as well. St George's was placed in Special Measures 18 months ago, although the new headteacher was already beginning the work of raising standards which has continued under her strong leadership. Nevertheless the school has been punished. Meopham, which has seen children allocated there for some years, following unsuccessful applications to other local schools is further suffering from the rapid rise in popularity of Longfield Academy along the road, where new buildings can also be seen rising, and strong leadership has reversed years of underperformance. For the two grammar schools, both of which lost out on BSF, there are differing fortunes this year. As reported below
, Gravesend Grammar School (boys) is full with boys from Gravesham, so those further afield are being turned away (will they be asked to take in an additional form of entry by the Appeal Panel?). Gravesend Girls' Grammar still has vacancies in spite of its very good reputation.