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Displaying items by tag: annexe

Tuesday, 17 September 2019 12:31

Another Futile Attack on Weald of Kent Annexe

Note: I have updated this article again, amending part of it relating to grammar school provision in the Whitstable/Herne Bay area in blue below.

I was interviewed on BBC SE last week, and KMTV this evening about the latest scheme dreamed up by Comprehensive Future and Joanne Bartley to destabilise the now well-established, Weald of Kent Grammar School Annexe in Sevenoaks, although the main target is probably to damage the chances of the proposed new annexe in Whitstable/Herne Bay intended to meet the needs of this rapidly growing area. 

Apparently the organisation is ‘looking into the possibility’  of seeking legal advice on its false claim that the Annexe is a separate school, although the two bases, like other split site schools in Kent, share the same headteacher and governors, with staff and leadership operating across the two sites, with the same culture and curriculum, and most importantly 360 children already in the annexe who know they are ‘Weald of Kent’  girls. However, the crunch legal argument that most easily disposes of the false claim is likely to be that separate schools have to have separate admission schemes. The Weald of Kent Grammar Admission process  makes it crystal clear that applications and offers of places are made to the school with no reference to preferred site, the same arrangement as for other split site schools in Kent.  

Published in News and Comments

Weald of Kent Grammar School in Tonbridge, which admits girls up to GCSE level and is then mixed in the Sixth Form, is now attempting a third attempt with KCC support to open up the proposed grammar school annexe in Sevenoaks. The proposal is now out for consultation with parents.

The proposal shows a change of direction from previous attempts, in that the school is now looking at a three form entry girls’ only annexe up to GCSE level and then mixed in the sixth form, opening in 2016.

Building Plans for the annexe have now been approved, builders have been appointed, but at present there is no approved scheme and so building on the site is in abeyance.



My own view is that Weald Of Kent parents may well support this scheme for, as distinct from the previous proposal, there appears no disadvantage for current students and positive advantages for future students living towards Sevenoaks. There appear to be none of the previous problems with legality, and although the school is likely to make minor changes to its oversubscription criteria, there would be ample space for all qualified applicants for many years. 

I have written a number of previous articles on the proposed annexe, which you can follow back from here, or else by searching for ‘Sevenoaks’ or ‘annexe’ in the search facility of this website ........

Published in News and Comments
Friday, 28 March 2014 00:00

Sevenoaks Annex: Another path blocked

In a further set-back to the proposal to set up a mixed grammar school annex in Sevenoaks,  Governors of Weald Of Kent Grammar School have decided after consulting parents  “that the case for Weald of Kent to become co-educational at the Tonbridge site has not been established and, therefore, conclude that it is difficult to go ahead with the expansion into Sevenoaks if this is a requirement”. There is a copy of the letter text at the foot of this article. You will find links to my previous articles here.....

Published in News Archive

Now that Kent County Council appears confident the legal issues surrounding a satellite grammar school in Sevenoaks have been overcome, a second proposal has come forward for a satellite at Herne Bay in East Kent, although this idea has none of the problems that have beset Sevenoaks.

The plan has been initiated by Sir Roger Gale, MP for North Thanet, following discussions between himself, Barton Court Grammar School, Kent County Council and a property developer - Quinn Estates from Canterbury and replicates a similar scheme proposed a quarter of a century ago, whose failure to be implemented has left festering problems ever since. Children of grammar school ability in Herne Bay and Whitstable have had difficulties in securing selective places for many years, as the four nearest grammar schools: Queen Elizabeth’s in Faversham; and Simon Langton Boys, Simon Langton Girls and Barton Court all in Canterbury are all regularly oversubscribed. Indeed, this year QE was the most oversubscribed grammar school in Kent except for the “super-selectives”  along the county boundary in the West of the county.

you may have heard a summary of my views, expressed in more detail below, on Radio Kent this morning (Friday). KentOnline, for the Kentish Gazette has written an updated article, providing the views of Kirsten Cardus, Headteacher of Barton Court, here. Sir Roger Gale's views are reported here, which appear very critical of the position of KCC.

Published in News Archive


The headmaster of the Trinity School, the new name for the proposed Christian Free School in Sevenoaks, has sent an email to parents who have applied to the school for their children, stating that government has awarded the site of the old Wildernesse School, currently occupied by part of the Knole Academy, to Trinity School as their long term permanent home for September 2015. This has been confirmed by a letter from the Department for Education to KCC although the latter is slightly hedged by "I am minded to excercise the Secretary of statee's powers", suggesting that there is still more time for persuasion. Trinity chool already has a temporary base until 2015 at Ryedale Court in Riverhead.

The email from the school states: "We will be on the Knole East site in Seal Hollow Road, popularly known as 'Wildernesse'.  This is an existing school site with excellent sports facilities, a lot of green space, and plenty of parking for cars and buses.  The existing buildings will either be replaced or refurbished so that they meet modern standards. As you probably know, Kent County Council announced in January their intention to use the Wildernesse site for the proposed Grammar satellite.  Kent told us that they did not believe that the site could be shared with our school so we looked for, and found, a number of good alternative options. In the event, however, the Department for Education has decided that Wildernesse is the best site for Trinity School out of all the available options.  The Department has therefore written to Kent County Council to express its intention to base our school at the Wildernesse site once it is vacated by Knole Academy.  The Academies Act 2010 gives the Secretary of State for Education the legal powers to ensure this outcome.  We continue to believe that the site is big enough for two schools and it may be that this will be the eventual result of these discussions.......

Published in News Archive
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Kent County Council today announced that the proposed new Sevenoaks Grammar School Annexe now has a preferred site on the old Wildernesse School site in the town. Kent County Council reports that detailed proposals for the new grammar school provision will be submitted to government in the next few weeks. The site is owned by KCC, but the provision is not at present vacant, being  leased to the Knole Academy until 2015. Clearly Knole Academy is in no hurry to make the site vacant to a potential competitor school, and plans to "use its facilities more and more" whilst waiting for its own £18.3 million extension to be built. You will find much of the background this story here. Meanwhile,..........

Published in News Archive