Supporting Families
News Archive - Kent Independent Education Advice

To be updated. My previous article gives general figures on primary school admissions. 

Thurnham_2

I am fielding many enquiries about infant class appeals and, sadly, having to explain that because of Infant Class Legislation, there is little or no prospect  of success for  most appeals, apart from the following five reasons:.......


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Sicne I wrote my article on the new Tiger Free Primary School, to be set up in spare capacity in the New Line Learning Academy in Maidstone, I have had a steady stream of correspondents telling me my views were wrong. I still think it wrong that government money should be diverted in this way, when there is such severe pressure on capilta fo rschol improvements. 

However, if I were a parent in that area of Maidstone, where the local schools are Bell Wood Primary, Molehill Copse Primary and Oak Trees Community Schools, or towards Loose which is oversubscribed, I would be giving thanks for the opportunity, even if it is completely untried. The prompt for this change of heart  is ........


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 now have figures for the outcomes of reception year school admissions for schools in Kent and Medway for admission in 2012

HEADLINES

Rise in number of Kent children being offered none of their chosen schools, explained by rise in pupil numbers.

Sharp rise in proportion of Medway children not being offered first choice of school.

 

More details below........


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Thursday, 29 March 2012 11:14

New Sevenoaks Grammar School Annexe

KCC has this afternoon agreed to pursue proposals to provide a new grammar school annexe in Sevenoaks.  The proposition: 'The recommendation is that in response to an ePetition, Kent County Council pursues proposals to provide 2FE of selective secondary provision for boys, 2FE of selective secondary provision for girls and 2FE of mixed non-selective provision for students resident in the Sevenoaks south area, that would meet legal requirements'  was passed. Now the hard work begins. It is reported that KCC does not support the competing proposed Chrstian Free School, because of possible impact on the surrounding schools including the Knowle Academy.

As I confirmed on BBC News 24 this evening, there are actually 117 Kent children who applied for a grammar school place and were not offered one, and not the 60 claimed by KCC. This year, these are nearly all in West and North West Kent. KCC continues to claim there are only 60, but doesn't count those who put a non-selective school on their application form as a safety net and were offered this. For reasons explained below the majority of these will be boys. A total of 388 children who were grammar school qualified and put a West Kent Grammar School as first choice were rejected by that school. 

Some thoughts.....


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Thursday, 29 March 2012 09:10

Skinners Kent Academy Success from OFSTED

In complete contrast to the failing Marlowe Academy, see below, Skinners Kent Academy in Tunbridge Wells has just been given a 'good' OFSTED Report. The school has suffered a poor reputation in the town for at least 20 years in its previous incarnations as Sandown Court School and Tunbridge Wells High School (in those days it was hoped a change of name was sufficient to throw off a poor reputation). The Report says: "Most students join the academy with very low attainment. They make consistently good progress and many make outstanding progress so that attainment is rising strongly. Parents, carers, and all students, recognise this”.  The OFSTED took place whilst the school was a building site, as the new buildings rise around it. 

Skinners_Kent

The Report records that 'The number of students known to be eligible for free school meals is above average. The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is also above average', so clearly not the typical Tunbridge Wells. It goes on: This is a good school that is improving rapidly. Aspects of its work are outstanding. Governors and leaders are highly ambitious for the success of every student. They have instilled high expectations and a ‘no excuses’ approach to school improvement....


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In a shocking indictment of the governance and management of the Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate, it has failed its second consecutive OFSTED. In October 2010 the academy was given Notice to Improve. This verdict is failure, with a stark warning that the school must change. The Marlowe Academy was inspected a second time on November 17th and 18th November 2011, and I covered some some of the issues in a previous article in December, antipating the report's publication following leaks that the trustees were to be criticised. This is indeed the case, and one can only speculate what pressure there has been to soften the harsh criticisms which strike at the heart of the academy principle before a very delayed publication today, after more than four months (the norm between inspection and publication is about a month, Meopham, the last failed school was six weeks). 

Marlowe_Academy

OFSTED's verdict is the lowest possible, the headline being:......


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Which Kent and Medway Schools are the most popular? Which have most vacancies? Why has one school reduced the numbers it can admit? Why are there nine grammar schools with vacancies, whilst  eight in West and North West Kent turn away an average of over 80 children who put them first choice? Why does one school annually top the popularity figures, rejecting nearly 200 children who put it in first place?  Answers below. 

Kent County Council figures show there was a fall of 200 in the number of Kent children transferring to secondary school this year, but an unwelcome increase of 30 children to 443 who were offered none of their choices. I have published four previous articles which you will find below, but this one covers vacancies and levels of oversubscription across Kent and Medway.  You will find last year’s figures here.

The most dramatic finding has been featured elsewhere, the shift in children passing the 11+ from East to West of the county......


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I now have official details of the pattern of children crossing the Kent and Medway boundaries to take up secondary school places, and it gives a very different picture from the more lurid headlines which greeted the initial figures released by Kent County Council on 1st March. I have divided the cross border movement into four sections below: North West Kent; West Kent; South Kent; and Medway. I don't have precise figures for which part of county children live in so some of these figures are best estimates. The headline figures are: 560 children from out of Kent are taking up places in Kent secondary schools, with 477 going the other way. But don't jump to conclusions. Read the following:...


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