Four months after detailed plans were submitted to Education Secretary Michael Gove, there is still no decision on whether he will grant approval for a new grammar school annexe in Sevenoaks,
Mr Gove did however write a holding letter on 24th October to Sevenoaks MP Michael Fallon stating:
“I understand the difficulty parents and families face in securing a suitable school place, and the distance many have to travel…The Education Funding Agency is assessing the proposals and will present its findings to ministers shortly.”
The unusual length of the delay in Mr Gove’s decision has lead the national press to begin featuring the story, including an article in the 17th November edition of the Sunday Express with the headline “Campaigners Put Pressure On Michael Gove To Approve Expansion Of Grammar School”, together with a leader comment stating:-
“Education Secretary Michael Gove is to be applauded for easing Labour’s ludicrous restrictions on grammar school expansion. So it makes his foot-dragging over approving a satellite grammar in Sevenoaks all the more baffling. The suspicion must be that Mr Gove is trying to spare a row with Lib Dem coalition partners opposed to selective education. The Education Secretary must stop playing politics with pupils’ lives because when he finally makes up his mind no one will be happier than the 1,200 Sevenoaks children currently being bussed 30 miles a day to and from the nearest selective school.
In the meantime, the waiting goes on….