Councillors campaign to give Dartford Grammar School rights for all
10:02 28 June 2012
»Two councillors are campaigning to change the prestigious Dartford Grammar School’s admissions policy which excludes three electoral wards within the borough.
All boys who have passed the Kent Test and are living in Dartford are guaranteed a place except those living in the electoral districts of Greenhithe; Swanscombe and Longfield and New Barn and Southfleet.
In these three areas students are considered alongside applications from the surrounding boroughs including Bexley, Greenwich and Gravesham.
The school’s notable former pupils include Sir Mick Jagger and athlete Adam Gemili, selected for this year’s Olympics at the Birmingham trials last Sunday.
Cllr David Mote and Cllr Keith Kelly want children living in Greenhithe to have the same opportunity as those living across the rest of Dartford.
Mr Mote said: “Nobody seems to have questioned it in the past which is quite strange. I live on the border of Stone and Greenhithe and my son did the 11-plus and automatically got into Dartford Grammar, but if we lived in Greenhithe he would not have got in.
“The school says it gives first choice to students in Dartford but it doesn’t. But they have been very accommodating and the headmaster called a meeting with all the councillors in the affected wards to talk about it.”
The school has an intake of 150 each year, of which roughly half come from Dartford.
Cllrs Mote and Kelly are encouraging parents in Greenhithe to write to MP Gareth Johnson, also a former Dartford Grammar boy, who can then raise the issue with education secretary Michael Gove.
Mr Mote said: “The school can’t change it themselves. Their arrangements are they take a certain percentage of pupils from Dartford. They are saying they can’t take any more students because they are at capacity. If they can’t move on their percentages we need to create additional capacity and that requires money.”
Dartford Grammar School declined to comment.
n Email your views to Dartford MP Gareth Johnson at email@example.com.