Kent County Council has welcomed the news that Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has today approved the expansion of the Weald of Kent Grammar School in Tonbridge onto a new site in Sevenoaks.
KCC Leader Paul Carter said: “This is great news for girls from the Sevenoaks area who are assessed as suitable for a grammar school place.
“At the moment they are travelling several miles to the Weald of Kent Grammar, which has put together an excellent plan for building an annexe to help alleviate this problem.
“A large proportion of the Weald of Kent intake already comes from the Sevenoaks area, and the annexe plans are a pragmatic solution to a particular issue in that area.
“The Weald of Kent Grammar is an excellent school, rated Outstanding by Ofsted, and we have been working closely with the school and its governing body on these plans.
“The school has gone to great lengths to ensure its plans meet the legal requirements to establish this new provision as an annexe, rather than a new school.”
KCC Cabinet member for Education, Roger Gough, said: “There has been significant and growing pressure on secondary school places in west Kent for some years, and these plans will help ease those pressures.
“Currently about 1600 pupils travel south from Sevenoaks towards Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells every day, many of them attending the Weald of Kent Grammar.
“So the provision of a site in Sevenoaks will be excellent news for hundreds of girls and their families.”
The annexe will have a three-form intake, totalling 90 pupils per year, and should be ready for occupation from September 2017.
The cost of the annexe building is estimated at about £18 million.