Please oppose the plan for a new ‘satellite’ grammar school in Kent

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Kent County Council believes there is a “need”  for a ‘satellite’ grammar school on the coast between Whitstable and Herne Bay. The Selective School Expansion Fund is £50 million a year, and makes it easy to fund the project. But this legally dubious new school will undermine successful local schools, and is completely unnecessary.

There’s a petition opposing this plan HERE.

Please sign and share this widely.

There is only four weeks of consultation. If you can also email consultation@queenelizabeths.kent.sch.uk and consultation@bartoncourt.org by April 17th this will help.

You might want to say :

That you oppose expanding schools that use Kent Test admissions, they reduce choice for the majority of parents.

It is ridiculous to open a new grammar school when local high schools are doing so well. Herne Bay High and The Whitstable School both now have grammar streams. There is local provision for high attainers in community schools with open admissions. These schools excellent work and successful sixth forms will be undermined by any new selective school.

Legislation prohibits new grammar schools – a building for 1050 pupils is not ‘an extension’ it’s clearly breaking the law.

This school opens at a time when a new free school is also planned. Local heads Jon Boyes and Ken Moffat claim that too many secondary places will lead to a school closure. QE and Barton Court should halt all plans to expand if there’s even a slight risk of a school closure, and all the misery that causes pupils and staff.

You might also say that 33% of local children attend grammar schools, this is much more than the 25% KCC say is the “right” amount. QE claim they want to educate kids in Whitstable and Herne Bay, but in their privileged position controlling test admissions, they can easily set admission scores to a slightly higher bar and then they’d reach children in these towns. They could even instigate local debate about what the “right %” ought to be, only they will almost certainly avoid this knowing that it shows the flaws of the whole Kent Test system.

The idea that these grammar schools can produce ‘fair access’ plans and admit 1% or 2% more disadvantaged pupils is flawed. Local high schools admit significantly more disadvantaged children. It is better to support our community schools, and ensure they have good provision for all pupils, including high attaining pupils, rather than supporting grammar schools, and then pay for wasteful  ‘outreach work’ to persuade poorer pupils to sit the Kent Test.

The schools have not been open about a need for pupils to be educated 4 days a week in the coastal school and 1 day a week in Faversham or Canterbury. It is very dishonest that they told a local campaigner about this but have not mentioned it in their consultation document or told parents at their schools.

Jon Boyes, the Principal of Herne Bay High, has written an excellent consultation response HERE. He makes a convincing case for turning this plan down. Comprehensive Future have also put their consultation response online HERE.  There are many strong arguments for turning this plan down, but we shouldn’t be blase. We know that many local parents will support this school, not least because everyone seems to assume their child will pass the 11-plus! Please do respond to the consultations, even if you just send in one line to say you’re against the plan.

Thanks a lot for anything you can do to spread word and stop this awful plan.

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