The Labour Group on Kent County Council say the decision of the Secretary of State, Michael Gove, not to allow a Grammar School annexe in Sevenoaks is inevitable given the law on new Grammar Schools. Labour says the County Council has spent far too much time on a project they must have known would not work. We knew the Government would not sanction this somewhat contrived attempt to get round the law.
Group Leader Gordon Cowan says,
” Of course a new building on the Wildernesses School site in Sevenoaks is not an ” annexe” of a girls’ grammar school in Maidstone. Nor is it patently defensible to say a co-educational provision is an annexe of a single sex girls school. I have to say I am very concerned about the time and money spent on this very uncertain plan. The County Council has been indulging people’s hopes when they must have known there was very little chance of success. The Government was bound to judge that backing for such an unsustainable case would have opened them up to chaos right across the country. We know there is great pressure in West Kent with so many families wanting to transfer their children from Prep Schools to Grammar schools. Frankly, we in the Labour group would have much preferred to see Kent County Council closing the gap in educational achievement right across Kent.”