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A message from Matt Dunkley CBE:

1 February 2019 weekly update

1 February 2019

This week, Matt summarises the recently approved Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2019-2023 and extends an invitation to the Spring Headteacher Briefings.

Dear Colleagues

Spring Headteacher Briefings

The next round of Headteacher Briefings are taking place in March and the focus of these meetings will be announced soon.

I very much hope that you will be able to attend one of the following three meetings.

The dates, times and locations for these Headteacher Briefings are:

  • Tuesday 19 March - 1pm for 1:30pm start to 4pm - Mercure Maidstone Great Danes Hotel, Ashford Road, Maidstone, Kent ME17 1RE

  • Wednesday 20 March - 1pm for 1:30pm start to 4pm - The Spitfire Ground (Canterbury Cricket Ground), St Lawrence, Old Dover Road, Canterbury, Kent CT1 3NZ

  • Thursday 28 March - 1:30pm for 2pm start to 4:30pm - Ashford International Hotel, Simone Weil Avenue, Ashford, Kent TN24 8UX

To book a place, please email confirming your name and school, and the session you are able to join. An agenda will be available on the day.

Education Commissioning Plan 2019-23

The Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2019-2023 has been approved by Cabinet this week and is now available on the website. This is a five year rolling plan which is updated annually. It sets out how Kent discharges its statutory responsibilities, as the Strategic Commissioner of Education Provision, to provide sufficient Early Years, SEND, Primary and Secondary school places and to ensure that there are appropriate learning pathways at Post 16.

It is our responsibility to ensure that we have enough school places in the right locations to meet the demands of increasing pupil numbers and parental preferences. The plan is a ’live’ document which underpins the dynamic process of ensuring there are sufficient places for Kent children in schools and other provisions and the contents reflect regular discussion and consultation with schools, District Councils, Local Elected Members, Diocesan Authorities and others.

The KCP 2019-23 identifies the need for additional permanent and temporary mainstream school and specialist places each year as follows. Additional provision will be secured through a combination of expanding existing schools and opening new ones.

Mainstream Schools

By 2019-20By 2020-21By 2021-22By 2022-23By 2023-24Between 2024-2030







40 Year R places


30 Year R places


8 FE

540 Year 7 places


510 Year 7 places


520 Year 7 places


300 Year 7 places


360 Year 7 places


210 Year 7 places

Primary - Total of 58FE* across the Plan period and 70 temporary Year R places.

Secondary - Total of 129FE* across the Plan period and 2,440 temporary Year 7 places.

*All figures rounded to the nearest 0.5FE.

Specialist Provision

By 2019-20By 2020-21By 2021-22
347 places 466 places 538 places

As has happened in previous years, much of the additional provision will be achieved by expanding existing schools. While in many cases the need for new and expanded schools is dependent on future housing, the increase in demand for education places continues to be significant.

As is normal practice, the plan will be reviewed, updated and published annually. In the meantime, on behalf of the management team, I would like to thank all schools that have agreed to expand to help deliver the increased provision.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of the plan or you wish to consider expansion in the future in the areas of need, please contact, Director of Education Planning and Access.

Matt Dunkley CBE
Corporate Director
Children, Young People and Education