Last week The Leigh University Technical College announced it was proposing to expand.
This proposal, supported by the Department for Education, Kent County Council and myself, is to expand the age range of students so pupils start at Year 7 instead of the current Year 10 and Year 12 intakes.
This is an excellent idea as all schools which are part of the Leigh Academies Trust have been heavily over-subscribed for many years and it will give more children the opportunity to get a place at these sought after academies.
In 2014, I attended the opening of the Leigh UTC, which specialises in engineering and computer science, and it was clear to see it would become a popular school and a real asset to our area.
This first UTC in Dartford, with its purpose-built campus and state of the art equipment, is second to none.
Due to our ever-growing population, Dartford needs more school places and this proposal will help to meet this demand and ensure more local children can take advantage of the fantastic opportunities the UTC provides.
More school places are also being provided at Wilmington Academy, which is expanding its intake in September and the trust will also sponsor the new Cherry Orchard Primary Academy at Greenhithe from September 2017. This new two-form entry primary school, will include a special centre for children with speech, communication and language needs, plus a nursery for pre-school age children.
We have fantastic educational facilities here in Dartford and these schools add to the wide variety on offer and I wish them every success for the future.