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Faversham housebuilding sparks Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School's bid to hike pupil numbers by 20%


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A grammar school has launched a bid to boost its pupil numbers by 20% as it tries to keep pace with the influx of new homes nearby.

Queen Elizabeth’s in Faversham wants to increase the number of children joining in Year 7 from 150 to 180 by 2023.

Plans to increase pupil numbers at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Faversham have been revealed
Plans to increase pupil numbers at Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School in Faversham have been revealed

Bosses believe the move will help meet the increased demand for places brought on by “the level of construction” in the town, which is earmarked for more than 1,700 new homes over the next eight years.

Head teacher David Anderson says he has thrown his weight behind the expansion as he believes the secondary should be able “to offer places to those who live locally, rather than forcing them to travel further afield”.

“The school is hugely oversubscribed already,” he told KentOnline.

“At the moment, based on the number of applications we’re getting, we could fill up four or five times over. Most of the students who come to the school live within six miles of here.

“We could never offer places to all the students who want to come here, but we’re making additional provision for the students coming here already and those who will be living in Faversham.”

Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School head teacher David Anderson
Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School head teacher David Anderson

Kent County Council forecasts show 137 extra selective school spaces will be needed across Faversham and the Canterbury district in three years’ time.

These were published as Swale Borough Council put forward proposals to add a further 10,000 homes to its 2038 housing commitment, with 3,410 of the properties earmarked for Faversham.

But Mr Anderson says the planned expansion of the school could also bring with it a cash boost that could be used by to address problems at the Abbey Place site.

These include improving its “outdated sports facilities”, along with adding more science labs and classrooms to the grammar.

“The senior staff have been discussing this proposal for some time, and we’ve become very enthusiastic about it as we’ve looked at the opportunities it creates for the school,” he added.

'It brings more stability and financial security for future years and for future investments within the school’s facilities.'

“There will be more resources to help us address some of the issues within the school, where we have buildings that need replacing and classrooms not in great condition.

“KCC are offering a cash amount to help schools build new rooms to accommodate additional students.

“Once the students are in school, you receive revenue funding depending on the number you have – there’s a national funding formula which is about £5,000 per pupil between 11 and 16.

“It brings more stability and financial security for future years and for future investments within the school’s facilities.”

Mr Anderson says KCC has confirmed it is able to provide the necessary funding for the improvements.

The secondary will hold a meeting with parents, residents and interested parties in the school’s grounds on Wednesday, November 24, between 6pm and 8pm. The consultation will run until December 15.

News from our universities, local primary and secondary schools including Ofsted inspections and league tables can be found here.

Read more: All the latest news from Faversham

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