Kendrick School have published their conclusions from the consultation they carried out into expanding from a 96 form entry to (96+32=) 128.
The school say 72% of 102 respondents to their web campaign (73 people) were positive but make no mention of the petition which lodged 125 objections to their plans. As an Academy, they are not in any way accountable to the electorate and have concluded, “The Kendrick School Governors and Senior Leadership Team are satisfied that the proposal to expand the school should be pursued”
The £50m funding Damian Hinds promised to expand grammar schools is supposed to only be for those with, “ambitious and realistic plans for increasing access for disadvantaged pupils” (DfE guidance.) Kendrick currently have just 2.1% disadvantaged girls compared to 31.8% in Reading’s non-selective schools. Kendrick say they have and action plan and ongoing programme in place to increase the number of PP students and raise aspirations in primary schools, but they’ve had such a plan for a couple of years now. The reason the school don’t admit disadvantaged children is quite simply due to the amount of tutoring needed to get into the top 96, or now 128 when you’re competing with every other girl from Swindon to Regents Park in London.
Kendrick’s conclusion also appears to suggest that all of the new places would go to local girls. They don’t define “the local (Reading) area” or explain how this would actually work but if as a simple illustration we take postcode districts RG1, RG2, RG30, RG31, RG5, RG6 as “the local (Reading) area” then about 40% already come from here* so they’d be “prioritising” girls who’d already get a place under the current system and 60% will continue to come from outside this area. With a 60/40 split you’d be looking at about 9 places for local girls and 15 more commuting into Reading.
Kendrick have shifted from paying lip service to helping disadvantaged girls to paying lip service to prioritising local children.
*2016 data provided by the DfE shows where Y7 to Y11 Kendrick girls live. To ensure anonymity these were provided down to postal sector (full post code less last two letter) randomised to create a full approx postcode then plotted on this interactive map:
The source data is available here.