National Grammar Schools Association
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Extracts from the SUPPORT KENT SCHOOLS Campaign

'Raising standards - offering choice'

8 Faversham Road, Lenham, Maidstone, Kent ME17 2PN. TEL: (01822) 851351

Fact Sheet Two


1. Kent Social Statistics
2. School Budget Shares
3. Transport costs (Upper Tier Authorities - County Councils)
4. Costs of Selection
5. Free School Meals

1. Kent Social Statistics

a) Wealth

Kent GDP is 12.5% below the national average and nearly 12% below the South East Region average. Household disposable income per head is the lowest in the South East (apart from the Isle of Wight). (ONS Regional Accounts 1993). Average weekly earnings for Kent are below both national and regional averages. (New Earnings Survey 1996)

b) Economics Statistics - Deprivation Indices

Of the 354 Local Authority Districts in England, Thanet is the 64th worst on the DETR Deprivation index. Tunbridge Wells, the most prosperous district, only ranks 266th. At Ward Level, Kent has 14 wards in the lowest 50 in the South East Region and 37 in the lowest 100, confirming the level of deprivation in the county. Problems are focused on certain areas, for example, Thanet, Swale, and Gravesham, where over 80% of Local Authority Wards show overall deprivation above the national average (DETR Local Deprivation Index 1998)

2. School Budget Shares

Budget share per pupil 1999/2000 for schools over £2500 per pupil per annum (excluding schools with special units)

Eden Valley School 2981.52 Edenbridge (West Kent)
Oldborough Manor Community College 2842.22 Maidstone (West Kent)
Cranbrook School (Grammar) 2656.80 Cranbrook (West Kent)
Sandown Court Community College 2608.59 Tunbridge Wells (West)
Wildernesse School 2587.41 Sevenoaks (West)
Swan Valley Community College 2549.16 Dartford (West)
Swanley School 2508.25 Swanley (West)
Holmesdale Community School 2505.05 Cuxton, Nr Maidstone (Mid)

Seven of the eight most expensive schools per pupil are not grammar schools. Most are in areas of relative wealth. (Section 52 Kent Schools Budget Statement 1999/2000)

3. Transport costs (Upper Tier Authorities - County Councils)

Of the 34 Counties which are upper tier Authorities, Kent with an average cost of £86 per pupil, comes 19th, i.e. is well inside the cheapest half. The most expensive is Shropshire at £145, the cheapest Nottinghamshire at £49.

Many of Kent's transport costs are paid out to provide travel to Church schools.

(Source DfEE Budget Analysis, 1999)

4. Costs of Selection

Included in costs of school admissions/supply of school place:

Primary £656,700
Secondary £153,900

(Section 52 Kent Schools Budget Statement 1999/2000)

It costs four times as much to admit children to primary schools as it does to secondary schools, even when the cost of selection is taken into account. Even without selection by ability, there is still a considerable expense involved in the admission of children.

A grammar school in Kent, responsible for its own admission arrangements has a budget of £2000 to cover the whole of the testing, marking, etc. This compares favourably with the cost of many prospectuses used for marking.

5. Free School Meals

Fewer grammar school children take free school meals than in most other schools. There is an undeniable correlation between socio-economic status and ability. However, there are always individual cases that make points:

Dane Court Grammar 35meals;
St Gregory's Catholic Comprehensive 34
Folkestone School for Girls (Grammar) 31
Dover Grammar boys 30
Simon Langton Boys Grammar 28
St Simon Stock Catholic Comprehensive 28
Wildernesse School 27
Bennett Memorial (C of E Comprehensive) 26


(Section 52 Kent Schools Budget Statement 1999, Grant Maintained Schools Data)

Fact Sheet One | Debate