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First grammar school in 50 years set to be approved

The grammar school will be based in Sevenoaks

Kent finally looks set to win approval for the country's first new grammar school in more than 50 years.

The annexe at Sevenoaks will be approved by the Education Secretary later today.

New grammar schools that select pupils on the basis on academic ability are officially banned. So the school in Sevenoaks will be run as an extension to the Weald of Kent grammar, an existing girls' school nine miles away in Tonbridge.

The expected decision follows months of delays and legal wrangling - the application to open the school has been with the government for nearly a year.

Three previous bids were refused on the basis that they amounted to new schools rather than expansions of existing one.

Kent County Council has already spent millions gaining planning permission and doing preparatory work in readiness for being given the green light.

The annexe will be 9 miles away from the existing school Credit: ITV Meridian

The Sevenoaks school has always been seen as a test case and if it's given the yes, is expected to pave the way for the widespread expansion of other selective schools.

Other areas that have shown an interest in expanding their grammar provision include Maidenhead in Berkshire. That idea has the backing of the MP and Home Secretary Theresa May.

Click here for more background to the school plans.

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