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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 9:50 am 
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Have any of you read this in the news section of Michael Fallon MP's website?

http://www.michaelfallon.org.uk/?p=1688

Michael Fallon wrote:
I am clear, therefore, that the long-term answer is to provide more places. It is impossible to do this at the existing grammar schools which are full, and it would therefore be logical to provide new places in Sevenoaks itself. When the new-build Knole Academy opens on the Wildernesses site in 2012, the Bradbourne site becomes vacant. KCC has agreed that this site can now be considered.

Rather than establish an entirely new grammar school (which presents several legal and political difficulties), it would be easier to provide a co-educational campus at Bradbourne for two of the existing schools. We have agreed therefore that Kent will now formally explore with the current grammar schools which of them would be interested in expanding with a co-educational campus in Sevenoaks. Kent will now approach the likely partner schools.

Then if you look on the link below (think it will work if you cut and paste it), you will see the record of a recent debate in the House of Commons about funding for a new building for the new Knole Academy, and in which reference is made by Michael Fallon to the school adjudicator enquiry.

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/p ... 0911000003


Last edited by WP on Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.
trimmed quote and linked to the article


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:30 am 
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Obviously this was written in July given the comments made. However Mr Fallon seems to have been misled by KCC in that they do not appear to have proposed alternatives which restrict initial selection to a tightly drawn radius around each school (which will include a very small part of east Sussex), and then to Kent children. Having read the KCC objections they don't mention any potential solution like this (but that is not to say that they published their entire comments).

I fear Mr Fallon may be somewhat out of favour if KCC get their ultimate wish to force the so-called super-selectives to choose on distance alone, thereby ruling Sevenoaks children out of any of the places at these schools.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 11:24 am 
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As they say ..the devils in the detail...

Crutches for Mr Fallon please ....he's shot himself in both feet :lol:


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 12:07 pm 
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It's difficult to say though, isn't it, without carefully modelling people's choices, and some "what if" scenarios.

If the three superselectives stopped being superselectives, and it was impossible to get into the West Kent grammars (any of the six of them) from OOC, and schools in other counties stopped taking Kent children then:

- unless there is a vast difference between our exports and imports, we would be educating roughly the same number of children in Kent as a whole; but if as a whole we export more than we import there would be pressure on the whole school system, not just the grammars in West Kent

- in West Kent, the grammar school children would be split across 6 grammars not according to score, but ultimately more to do with proximity to the schools, or according to specialism, or just whichever school people liked the look of, and they would not rub shoulders with anyone from outside Kent. The overall grammar results would be a bit poorer overall as there would not be the high scoring OOC's there. There may be some surplus places overall due to the lack of OOC children, or maybe the pass standard overall would be slightly lower in order to fill the schools so there would be a slight shift from non-selectives into the grammars

- in the non-selectives there would be no OOC children, just more of the Kent ones who might have gone out of county if we had not encouraged schools over the border to discriminate against Kent pupils the way we want to discriminate against them. We probably export more non-selective children than we import, so there would most likely be more pressure on places in the non-selectives.

The problems about people having to wait to get a school place in West Kent would probably shift from the selectives to the non-selectives, unless the overall passmark were lowered.

If you were located in Sevenoaks town, the effect is unpredictable as people who had hoped for the superselectives before where distance was no barrier might move closer in to the grammars in Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells. The remaining few in Sevenoaks could still be left out on a limb.

Hard to say, all the different scenarios need modelling properly before anyone makes a decision, unless it is just one which says that planning by county boundaries is facile and potentially unlawful.


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