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Gravesend school plans to expand

PUBLISHED: 07:00 30 July 2018

Wilmington Grammar school for boys

Wilmington Grammar school for boys

Archant

County councillors have sent two school expansion plans to the government as an example of how Kent is struggling to reach demand for school places.

Plan for expansions of two oversubscribed schools on the green belt near Dartford have been sent to the housing minister for approval.

Wilmington Academy and Wilmington Grammar School both plan to increase the size of their campuses to accommodate students in the area.

Plans to keep three temporary classrooms at the academy in Common Lane were approved alongside a 42-space car park while a permanent solution was sent to Westminster for approval.

If approved by housing secretary James Brokenshire, a three-storey teaching block will be built to accommodate an increase of their intake from 900 pupils to 1,200 pupils plus the sixth form.

The school would also build 18 additional car parking spaces, an outdoor play area and a games court extension. While the neighbouring selective school in Parsons Lane would build a two-storey teaching block and a sports hall for an additional form of entry at the school.

As these extensions would increase the amount of traffic in the area, the grammar school has also included a coach drop-off loop for six buses and 12 parking spaces.

It has been estimated, if the grammar school’s plans were not accepted, by 2023 around 900 children would be without a place at secondary school in the area.

Both schools in the village have become overwhelmed following the unexpected closure of Hextable Oasis Academy in 2015.

Cllr Ann Allen, who represents the village at the parish council, borough council and county council says she is “enormously proud” of the schools in Wilmington.

She said: “I would like Willmington to be shown as an example of the pressures that we’ve got.

“Dartford is under particular pressure because we are on the border with the London Boroughs as we import students because we have popular schools and the London Boroughs are under pressure and we are under pressure.”

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