Two schools offer extra grammar places
Two Kent grammar schools are to offer more places to
children this year in an effort to address the problem of a
shortage across west Kent.
The Judd School in Tonbridge, one of the county's top performing
grammars, says it is to take in more children after what it says
was an "urgent request" by county education chiefs.
The Skinners School, in Tunbridge Wells, will also offer 30 more
places for one year only.
Kent County Council has acted in the face of concerns there will
once again be a lack of places this year at the area's selective
In a sign that it faces another difficult year matching demand
with availability, it says it may ask other grammars to consider
similar expansions on a temporary basis.
If the Judd proposal is agreed it would see the school, which
has about 960 children, able to offer 155 places to boys for one
Skinners School, there will be 150 places available, the equivalent
of one additional form of entry.
KCC has plans for a grammar school annexe to give pupils in
Sevenoaks access to a selective school but that is not happening
Cllr Mike Whiting (Con), cabinet member for education, said: "We
know there are increasing numbers coming through in the west Kent
"The Judd offered to temporarily increase admission numbers to
help this year and we are grateful.
"There are a number of reasons why we need more places,
including the demand from across neighbouring authorities."
He said the authority was still "crunching numbers" to gauge
The Judd School says on its website that "the local authority
[KCC] is keen to increase the number of selective places available
in the west of the county, given the anticipated shortfall between
the number of students eligible for a grammar school place and the
number of places available."
Headteacher Robert Masters said: "This is good news for parents,
who often face the uncertainty of knowing their child has passed
the eleven plus but do not know if they will get a place.
"It should also help reduce the number of appeals. There is a
long-term problem which is being addressed by the authority."
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