Issue details

20/00009 - Proposal to expand Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, by increasing the Published Admission Number (PAN) from 210 places to 300 places from September 2021



Kent County Council (KCC) as the local authority has a statutory duty to ensure sufficient school places are available. The County Council’s Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2019-23 is a five-year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out our future plans as Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision across all types and phases of education in Kent.


It is forecast that there will be significant short and medium-term pressure for additional Year 7 places in the West Kent Selective Planning Group which indicates that additional capacity will be needed for 2019/20 and in later years.  The planning group includes all Grammar schools in the districts of Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tonbridge Wells.


In 2012, Kent County Council agreed to identify and pursue options to increase Grammar provision in that area.


Therefore, KCC has asked Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys to provide additional places for local children by expanding the school onto a satellite in Sevenoaks district.


Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Expenditure or savings of more than £1m;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: Sevenoaks Town;

Notice of proposed decision first published: 20/12/2019

Decision due: Not before 3rd Feb 2020 by Cabinet Member for Education and Skills
Reason: In order that the proposed decision can be published for a minimum of 28 days, in accordance with statutory requirements

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Education and Skills

Lead director: Keith Abbott

Department: Education & Young People's Services

Contact: Ian Watts, Assistant Director Education, North Tel: 03000 414302 Email: Tel: 03000 414302.


A consultation was held from 28 October 2019 to 6 December 2019. The consultation was held for the community and other stakeholders, and included the following groups: all schools in the Sevenoaks District, Elected Members (Kent County Council, Sevenoaks District Council), Parish and Town Councils, Local MPs, Dioceses of Rochester and Southwark, Residents groups where known and Children’s Centres. A drop-in event for stakeholders to raise issues and concerns was held on 12 November 2019. A full public meeting was held on the 20th November, chaired by Sarah Hamilton.


This matter was discussed at the CYPE Cabinet Committee meeting on 10th January 2020, Ian Watts attended this meeting.

Financial implications: A feasibility study has been carried out which estimates the cost of delivery of buildings and appropriate site infrastructure, being approximately £15m, wholly funded by the CYPE Basic Need Capital Budget. Further information relating to the funding of this proposed decision will be contained within the report which will be submitted to the CYPE Cabinet Committee on 10 Jan 2020.

Legal implications: Contracting for KCC framework building contractors. Revisions to existing leases and shared use agreements already in place for the site. These proposals will help to secure our ambition “to ensure that every child will go to a good school where they make good progress and have fair access to school places” as set out in the Kent Commissioning Plan.

Equalities implications: An EqIA has been completed and can be viewed here: