A statement from Judd issued 29th October.
Additional Form of Entry in September 2014
Kent County Council have repeated the request from last year for The Judd School to admit an additional form of entry to Year 7 (155 students, not 125) in September 2014, as it is anticipated that there will again be a shortfall of selective places for boys. The Governing Body has agreed to accommodate the class as it will hopefully enable more parental preferences to be met. At the same time, with government funding falling rapidly, the additional class will increase the revenue stream to the school.
This will come as a relief to many families in West Kent as it eases the pressure on boys’ grammar school places, with families looking to Tunbridge Wells Boys’ Grammar also benefiting. We don't yet know what Skinners is proposing, but I assume that Kent County Council has made the same request to them. I have been told the school has indicated to some parents that Skinners is planning to go down the same route but has not yet made a decision. This would reproduce the situation of last year, with all qualified local boys being offered a grammar school place (local means all boys in the TWGSB named parishes and three mile range), and a number from further away. I also anticipate that Tonbridge Grammar will follow the same route, providing as last year a small surplus of girls’ places.
The decision to offer the extra form now is important to families, as with closing date for secondary admission forms not until 5 November, those with marginal scores for Judd can make an application with more confidence. It would be good if Skinners were also able to publish their decision on the matter before that date......
This solves the problem for 2014 entry, so the focus of attention now passes to 2015, when the six form entry satellite grammar school is due to open in Sevenoaks. Time is passing and government permission has not been granted yet, so chances for it opening in 2015 are starting to ebb away, as there may still be objections to the satellite opening, including the issue of a girls’ grammar school running a co-educational satellite, and then there is the small matter of the building. My own view is that there is a strong political will for this to happen, and I anticipate it will come about. Of course, 2016 is after the next General Election, so I am slightly surprised not to see more overt activity.
The big question that would remain is that with the some or all of the three super-selectives having expanded for two years, will they be willing or able to reduce again, to ensure there is not over-provision of grammar school places in West Kent!