Conservative controlled Kent County Council is planning to create more grammar school places. The plan is not to create new grammar schools but to expand the existing ones. 5,113 children in the county passed the Kent Test – their version of the 11 plus. But there are only 4,458 places available.
The Department for Children Schools and Families have banned expansion of the nation's 164 grammar schools. The DCSF specifically excludes grammar schools from rules allowing popular schools to expand. Cllr Paul Carter, the leader of Kent County Council, still believes his planned changed will be possible.
Of course some of us are rather hoping a change in Government might help. Conservative policy is often presented as being opposed to new grammar schools being opened. But it does allow for that option where grammar schools already exist and the population is growing. Roger Gale, the Conservative MP for Thanet North, is among those who wants new grammar schools to be opened regardless of population changes. there certainly is a conflict between the Conservative policy of localism and of restricting the opening of new grammar school when that is what local councils or groups of parents want.