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Kent pupils lose out as Londoners crowd north Kent grammars

PUBLISHED: 14:58 14 April 2015 | UPDATED: 14:58 14 April 2015

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Dartford Grammar School turns away 127 pupils out of 307

PUPILS in Kent have missed out on places at grammar schools in the north of the county to make way for more children from London.

Dartford Grammar School and Dartford Girls’ Grammar School were among the four most oversubscribed grammar schools in the county this year, along with the Judd School and the Skinners’ School in Tonbridge.

Yet Dartford’s four grammar schools offered 294 places between them to children from out of the county, mostly from south east London.

And Dartford Grammar School turned away 127 pupils who named it as their first choice – more than 40 per cent of those who applied - despite having 30 extra places this year, increasing its intake to 180 pupils.

Dartford Girls’ Grammar School turned away 95 pupils, and Wilmington Grammar School for Boys turned away 21.

However, both Wilmington Grammar School for Boys and Wilmington Grammar School for Girls gave greater priority to Kent children this year than last year.

Education consultant Peter Read, who writes a column for our sister paper Kent on Sunday, said: “Dartford Grammar changed its oversubscription criteria by shrinking the priority area for local children who qualified on a straight pass.

“The effects of this decision are quite stark. The number of Kent children to be offered places has fallen from 122 to 110, whereas the number of high-scoring out-of-county children, predominantly from south east London, has shot up from 28 to 70.

“Dartford Girls’ Grammar also changed its criteria to give more priority to high scorers irrespective of address, and the number of out-of-county girls offered places more than doubled to 40 out of 160.”

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