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Medway girls' schools could start accepting boys

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Half of Medway's grammar schools could become mixed gendered under plans being put forward to tackle the lack of places for boys.

The proposals could affect girls' schools Fort Pitt Grammar and Chatham Grammar, as well as Holcombe Grammar, a boys' school. All three are academies.

Holcombe Grammar is a boys' school currently
Holcombe Grammar is a boys' school currently

A report presented to councillors says 23% of Medway's Year 6 pupils can attend selective schools in the Towns if they have passed the Medway Test – formally known as the 11-plus.

However, there's not enough places for boys in Medway grammar schools and girls' places have to be filled by out-of-area pupils.

The report states the proposed changes mean 5% more children who pass their Medway Test could get a place at a grammar school in the area.

In turn, it would ease the pressure on non-selective schools and allow for a 50/50 split in places for both sexes.

Addressing the imbalance in this way was proposed instead of increasing the physical space at boys' schools, which was not deemed financially feasible.

Rainham Mark Grammar is a mixed gender school
Rainham Mark Grammar is a mixed gender school

The plans will be the subject of an informal public consultation and separate surveys run by the three schools.

If given the go ahead by the Regional Schools Commissioner, the changes will come into force from September 2024.

Rainham Mark is the only mixed gendered grammar school in the Towns.

The report says this school is the most popular first preference for parents and, as a result, it is oversubscribed.

Medway Council's cabinet will meet on Tuesday, April 5 to discuss the plans.

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