Home   Kent   News   Article

Government accused of 'bribe' for grammar school expansion in Kent

By Paul Francis

Anti-selection campaigners have criticised the government after it announced details of a second round of funding for grammar schools to expand.

The Department for Education is inviting schools to bid for a share of a £50m pot of money that will enable grammars to boost their numbers - so long as they show that their plans demonstrate a commitment to offer more places to children from poorer backgrounds.

Launching the scheme, schools minister Nick Gibb said: "Selective schools are some of the highest-performing schools in the country so it’s right that more pupils should have the opportunity to benefit from the world-class education they provide.

Grammar schools have been invited to bid for a share of a £50m pot of money to expand. Stock image
Grammar schools have been invited to bid for a share of a £50m pot of money to expand. Stock image

"It’s also right that access to those places should be fair to pupils from all backgrounds, which is why selective schools must demonstrate how they are going to admit more pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, if they are going to expand."

In the first round of the scheme, seven of the county’s grammars unsuccessfully applied for a share of the money. They were:

  • The Skinners' School, Tonbridge
  • Cranbrook School
  • Highworth Grammar School, Ashford
  • Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys
  • Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, Dartford
  • Wilmington Grammar School for Girls, Dartford
  • Rainham Mark Grammar School, Medway

One did get the backing of the government - the Rochester Grammar School in Medway.

Joanne Bartley, of the Kent Education Network, which opposes selection, said: “The idea that grammar schools need to be be bribed with cash to admit more disadvantaged pupils is quite frankly distasteful.”

Joanne Bartley is against KCC announcing it wants to set up an annex of grammar school in Herne Bay or Whitstable. Picture: Andy Jones
Joanne Bartley is against KCC announcing it wants to set up an annex of grammar school in Herne Bay or Whitstable. Picture: Andy Jones

“The latest £50 million handout to grammar schools suggests we have a government that picks favourites, supporting one type of school at the expense of the rest.

"There seems to be a casual assumption that parents like grammar schools, when the reality is we've been stuck with this school system since 1944 and no one's actually asked parents if an 11-plus at 10 is what we want for our children."

A controversial scheme for a grammar annexe was opened in Sevenoaks in 2017, managed by the Weald of Kent Girls Grammar School in Tonbridge.

The annexe was built in response to a shortage of places in the town.

Join the debate...
Comments |

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.

Follow us

Like Us on Facebook

Most popular

Kent Travel News

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More