Published: Tuesday, 10th May 2022

Residents are invited to have their say on a proposal which could see three Medway grammar schools become co-educational.

Medway has six grammar schools, three for girls, two for boys and one is co-educational. This means that there are more grammar school places for girls than boys. Currently, once Medway children have been offered their school places, the additional girls’ grammar school places are offered to pupils who live outside of Medway. The proposal to create more co-educational schools means that more Medway children could be offered a place at a local grammar school.

We are consulting on a proposal, in partnership with University of Kent Academies Trust, Beyond Schools Trust, and Thinking Schools Academy Trust, to change three Medway grammar schools to co-educational provisions. 

Chatham Grammar School for Girls, Fort Pitt Grammar School and Holcombe Grammar School are currently single gender schools. Chatham Grammar and Fort Pitt Grammar admit girls and Holcombe Grammar boys. The three schools are proposing to change to co-educational – to teach both girls and boys.

The proposal would make the total number of grammar school places for girls and boys more equal. With equal numbers of places, the number of both girls and boys living in Medway pupils who can attend a grammar school can be increased. This will provide capacity for growth in the size of school cohorts and maximise the opportunities for Medway children to attend Medway’s schools, both of which will be of benefit to Medway’s children and families.

Ensuring all children have the best start in life

Cllr Josie Iles, Medway Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said: “We are committed to ensuring that all of Medway’s children have the best start in life, learn well and achieve their full potential. This supports our aspiration to make Medway even more child-friendly, and helps our young people aim higher and reach their goals and dreams for their future. I would encourage residents to have their say on the proposal for three of Medway’s grammar schools to become co-educational.”

Excellent range of schools

Cllr Martin Potter, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Education and Schools, said: “We have an excellent range of schools on offer for children and young people in Medway and we want to ensure that, in the future, there are enough grammar school places for children who are assessed as grammar whilst providing the best opportunities for Medway children to attend Medway’s schools. I would encourage residents to take part in the consultation.”

The consultation ends at 6pm on Sunday, 26 June.

As the three schools which are looking to become co-educational are academies, the final decision will be taken by the Regional Schools Commissioner. If the proposals are approved, the new arrangements would be implemented from September 2024. The schools would start accepting boys and girls in Year 7 only that year, and over time the whole school would become co-educational.

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