The Government has granted applications for 11 new schools to be built in Kent, it has been revealed.
More than 69,000 places will be created in 131 new schools across the country approved by the Department of Education today (April 12).
This is the largest wave of free school approvals for this Parliament, after Chancellor Philip Hammond confirmed a one-off payment of £320 million for them in his Budget last month.
nd 11 of these new schools announced today are coming to Kent, including the Medway, Dartford, Folkestone and Canterbury areas.
Five of the schools will be secondary schools, five will be primary schools and one is for all years. One will be a special school and one will be an alternative provision school, for those who cannot attend mainstream schools.
One of the schools coming to Kent is Stone Lodge Academy, a new secondary school for 11 to 19 year-olds in Dartford proposed by Endeavour Multi Academy Trust.
The trust already runs two grammar schools and will use its expertise running selective schools to open a new, non-selective, free school.
Barton Court Academy Trust Free School, proposed by the Ofsted outstanding Barton Court Grammar School, will offer a new non-selective free school providing 1,050 school places for 11 to 19-year-olds in Canterbury.
Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “We need schools that can bring out the best in every single child no matter where they’re growing up, how much their parents earn, or however different their talents are.
“That’s why these new schools are so important – they give us the school places we need for the future, and they also give parents more choices to find a great school place in their area that’s right for their child.”
Since 2015, 124 free schools have opened with a further 373 in the pipeline – including the schools announced today.
This is part of the government’s manifesto commitment of opening 500 more new free schools by September 2020.
As part of its work to open more free schools the government has also created a new body called LocatED.
The organisation is made up of experienced property specialists to help speed up the process of acquiring sites for new schools and help get the best value for the taxpayer.