Supporting Families
Thursday, 29 March 2018 06:02

Oversubscription and Vacancies in Kent Non-Selective Schools on Allocation for 2018

92% of pupils offered places in Kent non-selective schools for September 2018 were given their first choice school on allocation in March. 44 of the 46 schools were full, although this figure will fall after successful grammar school appeals see some of the pupils pull out leading to considerable churning. Just 6% of the places available were left vacant, a fall every year since 2014’s 11% at this stage, the 543 new places since last year not having kept pace with the rise in pupil numbers.

St Georges Foundation       Valley 2

In some ways, the picture looks similar, although tighter, than 2017 with Thanet again having no non-selective places empty on allocation and two of the four most oversubscribed schools in the county: St George’s CofE Foundation School with 196 first choices turned away, and King Ethelbert’s School with 139. They are separated by Valley Park in Maidstone with 183 and Fulston Manor in Sittingbourne with 157. Shepway and Sevenoaks also have no vacancies in their schools, with five Local Authorities having spaces in just one school: Canterbury; Dartford; Gravesham; Swale; and Tunbridge Wells. All these situations still look critical for future years,  even though there are three new secondary schools in the pipeline.

Tunbridge Wells looks especially challenging, with KCC appearing to have little idea of where much needed extra places are coming from over the next three years, This in a town where over two thirds of places go to children from faith families, and some 80 are sent to schools in neighbouring towns, most with a 30 mile round trip!

 The number of Local Authority Allocations (LAA), children who had been given no school of their choice being placed in schools with vacancies by KCC, has risen by 12% to 739.

Seven schools would have more than a third of their places empty, but for the large numbers of LAAs as vacant spaces elsewhere dry up. They are headed up by: High Weald Academy, 64% spaces; New Line Learning Academy, 54%; and Oasis Academy Sheppey, with 43%

I look more closely at the most oversubscribed schools and those with most vacancies below, together with the situation in each District, along with the impact of out of county applications.

PLEASE NOTE
This annual survey of Kent non-selective places is the second largest article I produce each year (the largest is the parallel survey of primary school allocations. I am happy to accept there may be corrections or expansions needed, together with helpful comments, which I will incorporate if these are pointed out. 

 It is important for families to appreciate there is considerable churning in some areas between now and September, as appeals (especially to grammar schools) and to more popular non-selective schools, play a major part in seeing movement in waiting lists.

You will find my initial and more general thoughts here, and the parallel article on grammar schools here. I look at individual Districts further down the article, with direct links at:
 
Oversubscription
The pattern looks very similar to that of 2017, apart from the large increase in popularity of Brockhill, and the arrival of Trinity, Hadlow, Malling and Meopham. In some cases, it is not that these schools are popular in themselves, but reflect families trying to avoid other less palatable options. I can see the latter factor playing a part in the presence of at least ten of these schools. Some of the 543 extra places have been commissioned by KCC at key pressure points, such as the 60 at each of St Gregory’s and Bennett Memorial (still 49 oversubscribed), and Malling (21), but others are the decisions of the schools themselves, such as at Valley Park (30).
MOST OVERSUBSCRIBED KENT NON-SELECTIVE
SCHOOLS ON ALLOCATION 2018
SCHOOL
PLACES
OFFERED
1ST CHOICES
OVERSUBSCRIBED
2017
APPEALS
APPEALS
UPHELD
 
St George's CofE
Foundation (Broadstairs)
 217 196 164 11
Valley Park 270 183 47 6
Fulston Manor 210 157 47 6
King Ethelbert  150 139  40 4
Brockhill Park 235 134 14 1
Westlands  285 92 30 11
Skinners Kent Academy 180 86 28 8
Trinity School 180 81 5 5
Maplesden Noakes 210 80 34 13
St Anselm's Catholic 190 79 14 11
 Hadlow Rural 75 66 15 3
Charles Dickens 232 64 27 5
St Gregory's Catholic 240 58 11 7
Malling 180 57 0 0
St John's Catholic 195 56 0 0
Meopham 140 55 0 0
St George's CE
(Gravesend)
210 51 6 0
And a further nine schools with more than 20 first choices oversubscribed

Note: The appeal data should not be taken as more than a rough guide, as school situations can change from year to year; for example the rapid increase in popularity at Malling and Meopham, see below.

Vacancies
The shortage of places all round has led to a large increase in LAAs, which may have saved some schools from financial disaster. However, many of these families will be working hard to find an alternative. So for example, for 2017 entry, Royal Harbour Academy had 89 allocations to take it to 231 places offered, but only 181 turned up.
Ebbsfleet Academy appears nearly full on allocation, but 67 of the 147 places offered are LAAs, with every other Dartford school full of children who have chosen them, and all but one oversubscribed with first choices
MOST VACANCIES IN KENT NON-SELECTIVE
SCHOOLS ON ALLOCATION 2018
SCHOOL
PLACES
PLACES
OFFERED
FIRST
CHOICES
% VACANCIES
BEFORE LAA
 LAAS
High Weald 150  86  40 64% 32
New Line Learning 210 177  85 54% 80
Ebbsfleet Academy 150 147  69 47% 67
Hartsdown Academy 180 180  51 47% 85
Oasis Isle of Sheppey 390 291 167 43% 70
Holmesdale School 180 128 75 41% 22
Hayesbrook School 151 150  56 38% 57

This table includes all schools with an initial vacancy rate of over a third. 

Out of County
366 out of county children have been offered places in Kent non-selective schools, with 291 going the other way.
The main traffic is between: Medway (104 in, 22 out); Bromley (89 in, 15 out); East Sussex (81 in, 129 out); Bexley (66 in, 63 out); and Surrey (1 in, 68 out).

From Medway it is to mainly to Aylesford, Holmesdale, Malling and Meopham. From Bromley to Knole Academy, with a few to Trinity (presumably on religious grounds) and Orchards. East Sussex to Homewood, Bennett Memorial and St Gregory’s; out to Beacon and Uplands (close to Tunbridge Wells) and Rye and Robertsbridge (to the south); Bexley all Dartford traffic both ways; and Surrey to Oxted School.

DISTRICT SURVEY

 KENT NON-SELECTIVE
SCHOOLS ON ALLOCATION 2018: DISTRICT OUTCOMES
DISTRICT
PLACES
AVAILABLE
SCHOOLS
WITH
VACANCIES
VACANCIES
%
VACANCIES
LAAs
 
Ashford
 1178 2 34 3 27
Canterbury 1165 1 41 4 56
Dartford 1128 1 3 0 68
Dover  950 1 46 4 71
Gravesham 1099 1 9 1 120
Maidstone 1435 3 103 7 102
Sevenoaks 540 0 0 0 24
Shepway 685 0 0 0 0
Swale 1365 1 99 7 70
Thanet 1158 0 0 0 135
Tunbridge & Malling 1316 4 59 4 133
Tunbridge Wells 1080 1 64 6 32
 

 
Ashford
All schools full, apart from Homewood in Tenterden, with its massive intake of 420, which has 33 places empty, after taking in 38 from East Sussex. North School which has had its troubles, but appears to be working through them has 20 LAAs to bring it up to capacity.

The interesting one is the Wye Free School with an intake of 90, still oversubscribed by 14 pupils, but what a fall from 2017’s 64. This may well be a consequence of internal problems that have seen the headteacher resign suddenly last summer, followed by the Head of Inclusion and SENCO who both left in the first few weeks of the autumn, followed by further resignations at Christmas. There are issues of both behaviour and attendance reported to governors. Pressure on places will probably be eased a little as Norton Knatchbull, the boys’ grammar traditionally admits high numbers of boys on appeal.

The nearby Towers appears to have been the big beneficiary, having gone from 37 vacancies for its 234 places in 2017 to none this year (and no LAAs).

There are new schools in the pipeline to cater for future housing developments, assuming sponsors come forward

Canterbury
Every school is full on allocation, apart from Community College Whitstable with its 47 vacancies and 22 LAAs. Most oversubscribed schools as usual: St Anselm’s Catholic (79 first choices turned away), Canterbury Academy (35), and Herne Bay High (19). Spires Academy filled by virtue of its 34 LAAs. The new Free School, due for September 2019, will ease pressures since the failed Chaucer Technology School was closed, but Whitstable and Spires must now be concerned about attracting sufficient numbers in the future. Pressure on places will probably be eased a little as Simon Langton Girls’ Grammar traditionally admits a high number of girls on appeal.
 
Dartford
Every school filled, apart from Ebbsfleet Academy, with its 67 LAAS out of 147 offers. It is one of the three Brook Academies, all of which feature in the top seven Kent schools in terms of vacancies before LAAs added in. 25 pupils withdrawn for Home Education this year, highest percentage in Kent, and a quarter of its intake dropped out between Years 7 and 11, second highest in the county. One of three Tough Love Academies, clearly very unpopular with families, the three individually having the three lowest percentages of offers with LAAs removed in Kent .

Every other school oversubscribed by first choices, led by Wilmington Academy with 29 turned away and Dartford Science and Technology 23, apart from Leigh Academy, which was the most oversubscribed school in Kent for years until 2014, and then has fast lost popularity, filling this year by virtue of one LAA, although has put an extra 14 places in. Altogether Leigh, Dartford Science and Technology, Inspiration Academy and Longfield Academy have added an extra 53 places between them. A new non-selective Free School to be run by the two Wilmington grammars is on its way, but there have been planning and land issues. The closure of the failed Oasis Hextable Academy two years ago has not helped the pressure. The 66 Bexley children admitted to the six Dartford schools almost exactly balanced by the 63 going the other way.

Dover, Deal and Sandwich
I exclude Duke of York’s Royal Military School in Dover from all Kent statistics, as it is a boarding school with a core military family intake, admitting a significant number of pupils in each year group, starting from a low base in Year 7, over half of whom come from outside Kent. For 2018, it made 21 offers for its 104 places, turning down 10 families who placed it as first preference, probably children from non-military families considered ‘not suitable for boarding’. Currently highly controversial.

Dover was the District with most vacancies, but the proportion has dropped sharply from 25% in 2017, down to 4%. Each of the five schools has a few vacancies apart from Sandwich Technology College, 14 oversubscribed. However, Astor College, which has had a difficult time in recent years including two DfE warnings about low standards, has 58 LAAs, although it is not clear where these have come from, but possibly towards Folkestone. Otherwise, it would have had a third of its places vacant.

Goodwin Academy, in its new buildings, is oversubscribed for the first time since its Ofsted failure in 2014, thanks also to good management within the school, but is being financially crippled with staff lay offs, by the appalling sponsors, SchoolsCompany.  


Gravesham
Three of the six schools turned away over 50 first choices each: Meopham; St Georges CofE; and St John’s Catholic Comprehensive. Three schools, the two church comprehensives and Thamesview have added another 75 places between them. Just one school with vacancies, Northfleet Girls’ with nine, so enormous pressures to come in future years.
 
 
Maidstone
As usual, enormous polarisation between the four heavily oversubscribed schools in the town, and the three on the outskirts: Cornwallis Academy; Lenham School; and New Line Learning Academy. Each of the oversubscribed schools have added additional places, 85 between them. Valley Park is the second most oversubscribed non-selective school in the county, turning away 193 first choices, even after its addition of 30 places. Next come Maplesden Noakes with 80, and St Simon Stock with 44 (could it be said to be falling in popularity having slipped from 75 oversubscribed in 2017?). SSS has offered 30 places presumably to Catholic families, from Medway where even some Catholic primary schools do not recommend their local denominational school. It had no successful appeals out of 30 heard in 2017.

A proposed new academy, the Maidstone School of Science and Technology has repeatedly been delayed because of planning issues, with the sponsors losing patience and could walk away from the deal.

Lenham School renamed from Swadelands after its failed OFSTED and subsequent academisation, appears to be recovering popularity with its number of vacancies falling from 45 in 2017, to 15 this year. The two academies of the Future Schools Trust, on the west of the town are both disaster areas, with poor academic performance and low popularity, in spite of new premises. Although New Line Learning Academy has just 33 vacancies, it has 80 of the town’s 103 LAAs. This gives it the second highest vacancy rate in Kent before LAAs are taken into account at 54%. Cornwallis was recently described to me as ‘huge, plazas instead of classrooms and fish bowl science labs. Not a good learning environment for easily distracted children’. Certainly, my last visit there left me with a very negative view watching the movement of children round the site.

Sevenoaks
Three schools, no vacancies. Trinity Free School has really established itself, again offering 180 places, but being 81 first choices oversubscribed, up from 13 in 2017. Knole Academy is 25 places oversubscribed, but has offered 69 to Bromley children, a number of whom usually find local preferred schools before September.

Orchards Academy in Swanley continues to be very popular, also thriving on the closure of Oasis Hextable, offering places to all its 105 first choices, but by virtue of expanding 20 places to 140.

Shepway
Just three schools since the closure of Pent Valley in 2017, to be replaced by a new school in 2019. In the meantime Brockhill Park in Hythe between Folkestone and Romney Marsh, is the main draw, turning away 134 first choices for its 235 places. Both Folkestone Academy and Marsh Academy are also oversubscribed, by 18 and 12 places respectively.

 
Swale
Four of the five schools oversubscribed, with Fulston Manor third most popular school in Kent with its 157 first choices turned away. Westlands had 92 first choices rejected.

Oasis Isle of Sheppey Academy not only has 99 of its 390 places empty, but 70 of its offers are to LAAs. Most of these will be Isle of Sheppey families desperate to avoid the school who do not include it in their applications, but finish up being allocated as the other Swale schools are full. At 43%, third highest percentage of vacancies in Kent before LAAs added in, behind the two other unpopular Tough Love Academies. Second highest percentage of children leaving for Home Education in County in 2016-17, at 3.3%, the school reportedly suggesting this to complainants as a solution. Something needs to be done about the mismanagement of this school, but no one seems to care.

I have been asked about the chances of appeal from Isle of Sheppey to one of the mainstream schools. Figures for Fulston and Westlands in chart on Page 1. Sittingbourne Community College and Abbey School, Faversham (easy ride on train) are a few places oversubscribed, but neither appears to have needed appeals in 2017.  Well worth a try with a late application if necessary, if you can't face OISA. Some families are desperate enough to avoid the  school they Home Educate! This should not be happening. Girls might like to try Rainham School for Girls in Medway.

Thanet
No vacancies at present in any of the six school, in one of the two most difficult districts in Kent (the other is Tunbridge Wells). The problems have been exacerbated after no suitable sponsors could be found for a proposed new six form entry Free School. The root of the problem is that two schools, Hartsdown School and Royal Harbour Academy, are intensely unpopular with many local families, having all 135 LAAs between them which is 12% of the total applications to Thanet schools, and a higher total than any other Kent District. Many families plan their applications accordingly, with high levels of disappointment. This is in spite of Ursuline College admitting an extra 60 pupils, taking its intake up to 180, but other schools have turned down requests from KCC to enlarge in previous years. There is little prospect of respite for some years, with KCC having a fall back plan of transporting overspill to the site of the disused Walmer Science School.

St George’s CofE, with 196 first choices turned away is the most oversubscribed school in Kent, King Ethelbert fourth with 139. The scale of the problem is exemplified by Charles Dickens, in Special Measures, until it became an academy last year, sponsored by Barton Court Grammar School, which cancelled the Ofsted failure. Even with this background it is still 64 first choices oversubscribed, as some families avoid the most popular schools in a bid to maximise their chances at one of the two problem schools.

Hartsdown Academy, one of my three Tough Love Academies almost appears to seek controversial headlines, my most recent article covering one of these. 24 children from the school left for Home Education in 2016-17, third highest percentage of any school in the county. For lack of any alternatives, both these schools.

Many non-selective schools lose numbers before September; in the case of Thanet the four poplar ones each took on extra pupils through appeals. Hartsdown was 83% full, Royal Harbour Academy 91%, so limited space there and these will soon fill with incomers to the District.

Tonbridge and Malling
A mixed picture with four schools oversubscribed, but Holmesdale, now the only Kent secondary school in Special Measures with 52 vacancies, even after 22 LAAs, Hayesbrook with 57 LAAs, and Aylesford with 46 LAAs.

Hadlow Rural Community School offers a land based curriculum, and is the most oversubscribed for its 75 places, turning away 66 first choices Between them, the other three oversubscribed schools have added 53 places. Here the interesting school is Malling (see the Holmesdale reference) 49 vacancies just four years ago, then a no no for the nearby Kings Hill development, but now one of the most oversubscribed schools in Kent, rejecting 57 first choices.

Wrotham deserves a mention, a school that has to do well as it depends on drawing pupils in from neighbouring towns, with no large community of its own. The fact it is 24 first choices oversubscribed speaks for itself! Has now taken over struggling Aylesford. Perhaps Holmesdale will be next!

The puzzle is Hayesbrook, 6th highest vacancy rate in Kent at 38% before its 57 LAAs nearly fill it up. Where do these LAAs come from, the only other Tonbridge school admitting boys, Hugh Christie, having two vacancies so not there. Hadlow, a few miles out of town is one possibility but if so, many unsuccessful applicants have chosen no Tonbridge school. The only solution I can see is that these are overspill from the Tunbridge Wells debacle, see below, living to the north of the town who presumably won’t be happy at this solution to their problems. Hillview, the Tonbridge girls school, was 13 places oversubscribed.


Tunbridge Wells
A disaster area, in spite of the two faith schools adding 90 temporary places to ease the pressure. A proposed new Free School has fallen through after no academy trust came forward to sponsor it, leaving no prospect of significant new permanent provision for several years.

32 children from the south of the town have been sent to High Weald Academy in Cranbrook, twenty miles away. Up to 57 boys to the north have been allocated Hayesbrook in Tonbridge. A further 82 children, who will be nearly all from Tonbridge Wells District have found places at: Beacon Academy, Crowborough, 31 children; Uplands Community College, Wadhurst (probably with some from the Cranbrook area of the District) 51 children; and some of the 12 to Robertsbridge Community College. Some of these will be travelling by choice to full comprehensive schools.

Update: Theory without evidence - because Hayesbrook is in the south of Tonbridge, it is the nearest overspill secular school for TW boys from whichever part of town who fail to get into SKA. Girls can't get into the partner Hillview as it is oversubscribed. That leaves predominantly girls bound for High Weald. Can any one advise if this sounds correct?

Bennett Memorial has kept last year’s temporary increase of 60 pupils, to offer 270 places again, turning away 49 first choices, almost the same as last year. St Gregory’s Catholic has made a further temporary increase from the 180 PAN of 2017, upped to 210 that year, to 240 for 2018. It has still overtaken Bennett in terms of popularity, with a sharp increase in oversubscription to 58. Both of these two schools give priority for all their places to families following religious practices taking little account of location, a situation unique in Kent with just one other non-selective school in the town. The problem is increased further by the two schools admitting 37 East Sussex pupils between them at the expense of local children.

This places enormous pressure on the only secular school, Skinners Kent Academy, which has retained its intake at 180, in spite of a temporary increase to 210 in 2016. This Ofsted Outstanding school has increased its popularity even further, turning 87 first choices away with no other local non-faith non-selective school to go to. Some families will be looking to school appeals to secure a place. The 2017 outcomes are as follows:

Tunbridge Wells N/S Appeals 2017
 
Appeals
Heard
Appeals
Upheld
Bennett Memorial 37 1
St Gregory's 11 7
Skinners Kent Academy 28 8

 This can only be a rough guide to outcomes in 2018 as circumstances at each school can change and the number of applications for each school has risen considerably.  

Some of the Tunbridge Wells families may have put Mascall’s School in Paddock Wood as a back up, with 45 of its 240 places going to second or third preference, but still 27 first choices did not get offered places, possibly from the Cranbrook/Weald area, further away.

Certainly, High Weald Academy is seen as a school of last resort by many, and I have written about it elsewhere. The 32 families whose children have been placed there mainly because of the shortage of secular places in Tunbridge Wells, and now face a round journey of some 30 miles daily, cannot be happy. Some places will be filled by successful appellants to grammar schools.

The bottom line is that unless additional permanent secular places are provided as a matter of urgency, there is inevitably a crisis of provision I Tunbridge Wells. If in doubt, it is wise to consult the KCC Schools Commissioning Plan, where one will find on page 159/160, the following:

There is significant pressure for Year 7 places across the Borough that rises from a forecast deficit of 121 places in 2018-19 to a peak of 245 in 2022-23. There is particular pressure in the urban areas, with approximately 8FE deficit of places forecast in central Tunbridge Wells for the September 2018 intake, based on published admissions numbers. The forecast demand indicated in the table above is skewed by surplus capacity in Cranbrook, which is outside of the historical travel to learn distance for children resident in Tunbridge Wells Town. Consequently the pressure on places in Tunbridge Wells Town will be approximately 3 FE greater than indicated in the table. It was previously anticipated that the majority of the central Tunbridge Wells demand would be met by a new 6FE free school from 2018/19. The Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) had agreed to undertake purchase of the identified site in conjunction with TWBC and KCC. No Wave 12 application was submitted to sponsor the free school. This alongside the ESFA’s change in policy around speculative land purchases, has meant that a new school could not be delivered before 2020 at the earliest, necessitating the expansion of existing schools for 2018-19 and 2019-20.

In order to address the demand for Year 7 places we are working with existing Secondary schools in the Tunbridge Wells urban areas to offer 190 temporary Year 7 places in 2018-19, leading to 4.3FE permanent provision and 120 temporary places for 2019-20. During the 2017-18 year we will finalise proposals to establish a further 6FE of provision from 2020-21.

 
Tunbridge Wells Conclusion
Just three forms of the proposed permanent provision in 2019 is for non-selective places all in faith schools, replicating the temporary places for 2018. The Plan is silent on where the additional 120 temporary places might be, and also on how to magic a further 6FE from 2020—21. In other words, KCC does not know either where the places are coming from or where they are going to place non-selective children who don’t qualify for faith schools, an issue that is not even mentioned!!

Last modified on Thursday, 03 October 2019 19:53

12 comments

  • Comment Link Friday, 06 April 2018 21:11 posted by Mrs D

    Peter, I have a few family members whose children have been given a place at Oasis Academy, they didn't actually apply for the Academy and unfortunately they are not in a position to Home Educate as I and many families on the Island are doing, do you think appealing will realistically be successful? PETER: I have amplified the section on Swale (Page 4) in this article to cover this issue.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 04 April 2018 23:03 posted by Geraldine

    Hello Peter - we are one of the families who have bought a new house at Minster.Excellent value we thought but soon discovered the drawback by reputation - Oasis Isle of Sheppey Academy. Like many others we did not apply for it for our eldest son, but put down four houses on the mainland, only to be refused all of them and offered OIOSA after all. What are our chances of winning a place anywhere on appeal? PETER: Go on every waiting list. Fulston very difficult, SCC and Abbey (I know its a long way, but you would not be the only one, and the train journey is well worth the sacrifice) are your best chances at appeal. Westlands is a possibility.

  • Comment Link Wednesday, 04 April 2018 04:50 posted by Proud Wrotham parent

    Why no mention of Wrotham, although I know you are a fan, having recommended the school to us?
    PETER: I am afraid it did not fit in with my narrative, although having now had several nudges it is in there! It is a school that HAS to do well, with no large natural base to draw on depending on reputation to attract pupils from neighbouring areas. Has lost Meopham and Malling now both very popular, but is still 24 oversubscribed which speaks for itself.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 03 April 2018 19:56 posted by Did not apply for Hayesbrook!

    TW. Its terrible and thanks for highlighting the scandal. I don;t think anyone would have known what is going on otherwise. We are one of those with none of the three schools offered, having no faith background and living outside the SKA catchment towards the north of town. We have been offered Hayesbrook, a boys' school in Tonbridge, along according to you with another 56 boys who didn't want to go there. Hardly a recommendation, especially as our gentle son does not want an all boys school. What can we do? PETER: I just wish I knew. Go and look at Hayesbrook, even if it is in the next town. KCC is responsible for getting your son there. I have heard from several Hayesbrook parents that they like it with its 'small school' pastoral approach, but strong discipline, and high academic standards. No one will still tell me why it is so unpopular, which may be a good sign. Obviously appeal to SKA and go on the waiting list, but don't hold your breath. You could try looking at the Sussex schools if you can get your son there. Little consolation, but at least you are better off than those offered High Weald! Sorry.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 03 April 2018 16:38 posted by Despairing Maidstone parent

    What is actually wrong with the Duke of York's? Living in Maidstone without a good school to go to, could we apply there on a Monday to Friday boarding basis? PETER: I am afraid I am not able to comment whilst legal proceedings continue, only to report on factual matters. The school governors turn down a lot of applicants from non-military families as 'not suitable for boarding', so I suspect wishing for Monday to Friday boarding only may qualify as one of these. I quite understand your unhappiness about the Maidstone situation brought about by the lack of approval of the new school, but I suggest there remain serious questions to be answered here before you go ahead with this one.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 03 April 2018 13:57 posted by Very angry and let down TW parent

    We are amongst the many TW families whose daughter has been sent to High Weald. It is impossible to get her there, and having visited the school are not prepared to try. We cannot afford private like some others who have been let down. What can we do. PETER: My heart goes out to you. You have seen my analysis! There will be some movement as other TW families choose to go private creating spaces. This is not KCCs fault, but they have the responsibility to get your daughter to school. So very sorry I cannot be more optimistic.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 03 April 2018 13:46 posted by Chris W

    Goodwin Academy - We thought the school's troubles were over having endured the bad years and now with a great head and staff. However SchoolsCompany appear to have ruined it again, with staff cuts damaging the recovery. Will anyone be held to account for the missing money. PETER: Sad to say, I very much doubt it. Academies appear to be open house for profiteers. If the Regional Schools Commissioner can find someone new to take the school on., there is all the potential and goodwill to make it a success.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 03 April 2018 10:12 posted by Rachael

    you appear to have served up a hornet's nest with Hayesbrook on social media, where you are accused of all sorts of criticism of the quality of education at Hayesbrook. I can find none at all in either of your articles, just asking the fair question why so many local families don't want their sons to go there, and why so many remove them once they are at the school. As a parent of a Year Six son offered a place at the school, I need to know the answer to the 'puzzle' you have set. PETER: So do I, and so must the leaders of the school. Can anyone out there help, rather than just telling us about the high GCSE pass rate (given and congratulated on) and the small classes and excellent pastoral care (especially in Year 8 with its 61 boys rattling round in premises designed for 150 boys, and presumably generous staffing as a result). Clearly neither is sufficient attraction to lure boys in.

  • Comment Link Tuesday, 03 April 2018 09:50 posted by Andrew Baxter

    What an amazing website, packed with information. Whilst my interest is TW, I can see so much about other parts of the county that show our problems are the worst. If you live in the north of the town, you stand no chance of a place if you are not religious. PETER: You may well be right. I do not know why there is no outcry about this!

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