This follows a parental consultation, the Chairman of Governors describing it as “an extremely interesting challenge for the school and a wonderful opportunity to extend Weald of Kent’s unique ethos to more students in the locality”. The proposal would enable the satellite to become a full-blown mixed new grammar school or satellite if the rules changed, as well they might with Mrs May’s backing, if the Conservative remain in power, or shared power after the next General Election.
The situation in Maidenhead differs in a number of respects from that in Sevenoaks, most importantly in that there is currently no grammar school presence in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. However, some children from the Borough take up grammar places in neighbouring Slough, Reading and Buckinghamshire.
The Royal Borough Council consideration of the idea is hardly travelling at full steam, having originated in a Council Cabinet Meeting in March 2013, to explore solutions to the shortage of spaces. It is envisaged that the satellite would be run by one or more grammar schools in Slough or Buckinghamshire, although surely this would fall on similar grounds to Sevenoaks if the two sites are to have the same admission rules, presumably giving priority to children nearest the main site. The council will meet again in September 2015 to consider this and other proposals. This will give plenty of time for the new Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan to formulate a policy applicable also to Sevenoaks, but meanwhile, the Weald of Kent proposal appears to be the only one in town.
Weald now has seven classes in Year 7, with over 200 girls on roll, following appeals which upheld 48 cases, nearly all for girls who had not initially been found selective, although I have recently been contacted by the parents of one of these girls to say that 12 of them are still on a waiting list.