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Sevenoaks Action for Community Education (ACE) MEDIA INFORMATION January 05, 2012

ePetition May Not Generate School Places for Sevenoaks Children Sevenoaks ACE is aware of the ePetition on the KCC website to establish a grammar school in Sevenoaks and supports any pressure on KCC to open more secondary school places in Sevenoaks. We do however also believe that it is important to raise awareness among parents of the complex issues that operate within the Sevenoaks area when it comes to the allocation of secondary school places. We want to do this through consultation and open events, to be followed by a properly conducted survey. Sevenoaks ACE has no agenda other than to make sure that any proposals meet the real demands of ALL families in Sevenoaks, and their children. Under current Government rules, the new facility would need to be an annex of an existing grammar school. Therefore any proposed grammar provision in Sevenoaks is likely to be a satellite of an existing school or schools. The admissions policy would be an exact replica of the ‘mother’ school. Of the eight grammar schools closest to Sevenoaks, all are single sex and five out of the eight are super-selective. Super-selective schools allocate places based on those students which have achieved the highest Kent Test (11+) results, regardless of location. Children from as far away as Brighton attend these schools. Any grammar solution to the Sevenoaks secondary school problem needs to involve grammar schools which do not super-select. Current thinking appears to be two single sex schools on the same site, unless legislation could be changed. MP Michael Fallon has said “there is a growing shortage of places for both grammar and allability schools”. Given the published statistics, he is right. Why then are we not seeing proposals to solve the whole problem? Sevenoaks ACE is not interested in putting forward an alternative secondary school proposal. It wants sufficient capacity in Sevenoaks to meet the needs of the whole community. This may involve a mix of grammar, faith and non-selective education.

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Sevenoaks Action for Community Education (ACE) MEDIA INFORMATION

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There are now two petitions operating in Sevenoaks, one for a grammar school and one for a faith school. With 10% of the population attending church and 40% of our children passing the 11+ should the voice of the remaining 50% be ignored? It will be a tragedy if we see a battle ensue between these proposals when through research, proper consultation, and therefore greater understanding of all the issues, it should be possible to propose a solution which ultimately provides more local secondary school places that actually meet the needs of the community. We have people volunteers willing to do the work. What we need is support from KCC and the politicians to do it. END Additional Notes Information provided by KCC under an FOI request shows that in 2010-11 180 children in the South Sevenoaks area passed the 11+. Offers to grammar school places made on 1st March were 75 to super-selective schools, 84 to other grammar schools. 34 children were not offered a preference, and the remaining 21 who passed the 11+ are likely to be within this number. According to DofE data there are presently 3,875 children in primary education in the South Sevenoaks area and ACE has estimated at least 2,480 more of pre-school age. For further information contact: Amanda Manuel Sevenoaks ACE 01732 743956 07711 183919

A Grammar School for Sevenoaks?  

An ePetition for a grammar school for Sevenoaks does not go far enough in its demands. More pressure is required to ensure the right gramma...

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