Friday, 30 November 2012

Sevenoaks Christian Free School Consultation Response

Sevenoaks ACE is responding to the consultation based on the 914 responses to a survey of predominantly primary and pre-school parents in July 2012.  This survey included responses in respect of 261 children in school years 5 and 4 (starting secondary school in 2013 and 2014).

Context

Children in Sevenoaks are de-selected from schools.  Super-selective grammar schools de-selecting based on the highest 11+ test scores, grammar schools de-select based on the parent’s ability to fund a private education and/or tutoring and faith schools de-select based on the absence of church attendance.  Parental choice in the area is almost non-existent. 

Due in part to the selective system operating in Kent, and in part to the presence of a single state secondary school servicing the communities within the Sevenoaks area, 75% of children do not attend a local school.  Data from Kent County Council taken from its January Census 2012 shows the number of children in each of years 7-11 living in the Sevenoaks area to be as follows:


Respondents indicated that more than 55% of children spend over 30 minutes a day travelling to secondary school.  The range is from up to 15 minutes to over 2 hours.


“The Sevenoaks Problem” as it has become known locally is that it is a commuter town.  The adults commute to the city and the children commute to school.  All parties are agreed that any new provision should have a significant impact on the number of children that are travelling these long distances each day.

One of the questions on the consultation questionnaire for the Christian Free School is:
Do you agree that the Trust should enter into formal arrangements with the Secretary of state for Education to open the school in September 2013?

When responding to this question one has to consider alternative proposals, along with information about factors such as available sites, funding and the impact on other schools.
The proposed school is a niche school.  It will have a very particular ethos that will appeal to a niche of the population.  40% of children represented in the survey were described as having “No Religion” and of these the Christian Free School would be first choice for just 5.4% of children.  Results from the survey further indicate that for those children who achieve an 11+ pass, a grammar education will override personal faith when it comes to school choices.



The table above shows the school or type of school that parents would select if their child passes the 11+
(623 respondents representing 1142 children)

Kent County Council is presently pursuing plans to open an annexe of a Grammar School.  Responses to the survey indicate that even if this is not successful there is considerable support for an alternative proposal that would provide a grammar style education without the need for a selective test, either via a grammar stream in an all-ability school, or in some other form.

Indications are that an annexe of a Grammar School would have on roll 99% of its students who would otherwise have attended a school outside of the Sevenoaks area.  The survey data indicates that the proposed Free School may attract 68% of students who would otherwise have attended an out of area school, the remainder of students would otherwise have attended either state or independent schools within Sevenoaks. 

The only state secondary school in the area is a sponsored academy; Knole Academy which has been in receipt of considerable government funding and is due to benefit from a substantial government funded extension.  It is therefore concerning that responses show the proposed Free School would see a migration of circa 30.8% of local children away from the Knole Academy (approximately 36 of its 240 Published Admissions Number).  This will do nothing to reduce the commuting time of these children, and will serve to weaken local support for the Knole Academy.

The most helpful solution for the people of Sevenoaks would be for a single new “inclusive” school of 180-240 places which could meet the needs of the majority of those children travelling out of the area to secondary school.  Unfortunately, as it stands at present, largely due to a reluctance to embrace any new ways of thinking, neither of the proposals on the table is likely to achieve this in its own right. 

The DfE must consider, when assessing this application whether there are sufficient resources to fund two new schools in Sevenoaks.  Whether this be the Christian Free School and an annexe to a grammar school (via the LA) or the Christian Free School and an alternative proposal.  The answer is yes if:
  • there are sufficient sites and financial resources to achieve both;
  • neither will preclude the other;
  • the proposed Free School will have a positive impact on the travelling of circa 90 children;
  • the impact assessment on the Knole Academy does not have an adverse outcome

If however, it is clear that there is insufficient available land and/or funds to support two new proposals, plus the existing Knole Academy, the best result for the wider community would be for an annexe to a Grammar School or a more inclusive alternative to be established.



Admissions

The consultation leaflet for the Christian Free School states on admissions:

“We will encourage young people of all faiths and none to attend the school. If it is over-subscribed, half of the places will be for churchgoers and half will be reserved for children from non-churchgoing families.”

This statement gives a strong impression that applications will be divided into two groups, those which are from churchgoing families and those which are not, and that places will be allocated half from one group and half from the other.

The actual text of the Admissions Policy[1] states that, “after [the statutory obligation of] allocating places to children with statements of Special Educational Need where the school is named in the statement places will be allocated … in the following priority order:

      1. Looked after and previously looked after children
the remaining places will be split into
      2. Faith Places
      3. Open Places. 

The Faith places will be allocated first (up to 50%), so any application deemed to be a Faith application – ie from a churchgoing family will be dealt with as priority 2.

The admissions policy states that “Open places are available to all applicants”.  In practice this will mean that those applications from churchgoing families which have not so far been successful, will also be eligible for an Open Place.  These applications will therefore have ‘two chances’ of being successful. 

The statement on the consultation leaflet is misleading as the Open Places are not reserved for non-churchgoing families.

If this is not the intention of the over-subscription criteria, the wording should be changed to make it unambiguous.

Summary of Data[2]

Responses to the Sevenoaks ACE Secondary School Survey in July indicate the faith schools and Knole Academy will feel the greatest impact of the Christian Free School, and the grammar schools will feel the impact of a Grammar Annexe in Sevenoaks.

The survey asked respondents to indicate school choice from the options that already exist, and then asked how this might change if both a Grammar Annexe and the Christian Free School were available.  623 respondents answered one or both of these questions in respect of 1,146 children in Year 6 or below.  Respondents were asked to respond in each of three scenarios, without an 11+ pass, with an 11+ pass and with top marks in the 11+.

The table below consolidates all three scenarios and summarises the responses:


Data from Kent County Council (KCC) demonstrates that on average the number of children living in the Sevenoaks area[3] and attending Kent based secondary schools outside of the area is 331 per school year[4], with an additional 116 per year attending the Knole Academy. 

If the schools are successfully established the responses indicate the following potential changes in behaviour.







[1] As published at www.sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk on 28th November 2012
[2] A copy of the full survey findings report will shortly be available at www.sevenoaksace.org
[3] Sevenoaks area includes the planning districts of Dunton Green, Edenbridge, Halstead & Knockholt, Ide Hill, Sundridge & Brasted, Kemsing, Otford, Sevenoaks, & Westerham.
[4] Years 7 – 11- based on the January 2012 Schools Census

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Sevenoaks ACE to donate £450

The winners of the school’s competition have now been identified.  Amherst School, Springboard Pre-school and Chevening School Nursery will each receive a cheque for £150 by way of thank you for their help in distributing the Sevenoaks ACE Secondary School survey in July.

Participating schools, nurseries and pre-schools were asked to confirm the number of families at their setting.  Respondents who named the schools, nurseries and pre-schools currently attended by their children were entered into the competition, with the highest percentage of responses in each sector winning £150.

Amherst School received the highest response rate or all schools with 29% of families completing the survey, closely followed by Riverhead Infants (28%) and Sevenoaks Primary School (26%).

Chevening School Nursery achieved a 52% response rate followed by Acorns Day Nursery (30%) and The Lodge Nursery School (24%).

Among the pre-schools, Springboard Pre-school had the highest overall response rate with 54% of families completing the survey – the highest across all categories.  Followed by the Children’s Workshop (37%) and Bradbourne Park Pre-School (33%).

Sevenoaks ACE would like to thank the 35 schools, nurseries and pre-schools that took part in the competition.  

Without these organisations publicising and promoting the survey, the response rate would not have been so high.  It is thanks to their support that we have been able to collate some valuable data that we hope will help to inform decisions being made about secondary school provision for the area for the benefit of this community.

What is the likely impact of the proposed new Secondary Schools?



Survey data shows the Grammar Annexe is likely to prevent 99% of its students from travelling to schools outside Sevenoaks, whereas the Christian Free School is likely to reduce travelling time for 68% of its students.

When any new school is created the impact on surrounding schools is considered.    One of the major motivations behind the proposed Christian Free School and the Grammar Annexe is a desire to reduce the number of children travelling outside of the Sevenoaks area to secondary school.  How might we expect the two proposals to impact on this?

Responses to the Sevenoaks ACE Secondary School Survey in July indicate the faith schools and Knole Academy will feel the greatest impact of the Christian Free School, and the grammar schools will feel the impact of a Grammar Annexe in Sevenoaks.

The survey asked respondents to indicate school choice from the options that already exist, and then asked how this might change if both a Grammar Annexe and the Christian Free School were available.  623 respondents answered one or both of these questions in respect of 1,146 children in Year 6 or below.  Respondents were asked to respond in each of three scenarios, without an 11+ pass, with an 11+ pass and with top marks in the 11+.

The table below consolidates and summarises these responses.  Present school choice is shown in the left hand column, and the impact of the proposed new provision is shown across the top.  For example, of those who indicated that they would select a Faith School in Tunbridge Wells, 19.5% of children would still chose to attend a Faith School in Tunbridge Wells despite additional provision , 76.9% of children would select the Christian Free School and 3.6% would select Sevenoaks Grammar.


Data from Kent County Council (KCC) demonstrates that on average the number of children living in the Sevenoaks area[1] and attending Kent based secondary schools outside of the area is 331 per school year[2], with an additional 116 per year attending the Knole Academy. 

If the schools are successfully established the responses indicate the following potential changes in behaviour.


At this stage we are being reassured that both options are viable.  Should that situation change, and it becomes a case of one over the other, it is clear that the greatest impact to the lives of Sevenoaks children will be felt by the proposed Grammar Annexe.
[1] Sevenoaks area includes the planning districts of Dunton Green, Edenbridge, Halstead & Knockholt, Ide Hill, Sundridge & Brasted, Kemsing, Otford, Sevenoaks, & Westerham.
[2] Years 7 – 11- based on the January 2012 Schools Census

Friday, 21 September 2012

Free School Consultation Launched

The Sevenoaks Christian Free School has been busy this week and has now published:

  1. Its admission policy  http://www.sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk/?page_id=1152  
  2. Its prospectus  http://www.sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/SCS+Prospectus+for+web.pdf
  3. And has launched its consultation which takes the form of an online questionnaire on its website here:  http://www.sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk/?page_id=1224 or via a printed leaflet/pdf which can be returned by post 


The consultation runs to 30th November 2012, although the leaflet asks for responses to be provided by 31st October 2012.  Further responses can be sent by email to:

info@sevenoakschristianschool.org.uk


An open consultation meeting will be held at Vine Baptist Church, Park Lane, Sevenoaks on 26th September 2012 at 7.30pm. This will give interested parties the opportunity to hear more about the proposals and ask any questions they may have. Comments received on paper, online or at the meeting will be collated into a consultation report which will be sent for consideration to the Secretary of State.

If you have any views on the proposals, for or against, do ensure that they are captured via this official consultation.  Examples from other parts of the country have demonstrated that unless captured via the official consultation the results are unlikely to be included in the submission to the Department for Education.




Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Any School Questions - July 12 2012

On 12th July we held a community meeting at Knole Academy taking the form of a Question Time panel debate.  The panelists were:


  • Mary Boyle, Principal Knole Academy
  • Peter Read, Education Consultant
  • Bill Latimer, Chair, Sevenoaks Christian Free School bid team
  • Cllr Richard Parry, KCC
The event was supported by the Sevenoaks Chronicle and chaired by Roger Kasper, Editor.

Andrew & Sarah Shilling of the Sevenoaks Grammar School Campaign were unfortunately unable to attend.

The event was put together at short notice. It was a busy night in Sevenoaks, with a District Council meeting, various end of term school concerts and parent evenings.  We would like therefore to thank those people who were able to participate at short notice and who contributed to the quality debate.

The event was kindly recorded for us by Chris Tizzard - the video can be watched below.  Apologies for the  varying sound quality in places.


Saturday, 14 July 2012

Is your child already at secondary school?

Do you have children at:

  • Knole Academy
  • The Judd
  • Tonbridge Grammar
  • Weald of Kent
  • Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar
  • Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar
  • Skinners
  • Skinners Kent Academy
  • Hill View
  • Hugh Christie
  • Hayesbrook
  • Bennett Memorial
  • St Gregory's

It might not benefit your children, but knowing about your experiences may well go some way to help future generations of sevenoaks children. There is still another day to complete the survey - please do it today.


Do the survey

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Any School Questions Live Blog

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Secondary School Survey - 7 Days Left

Have your say before 15th July.  


Join the 700 people that have already taken the time to say what they think about Secondary School Provision for the Sevenoaks area.  


Do you have children already at secondary school?  Your experiences are really valuable to us, do the survey today.


Find out more here



Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Any "School" Questions - 12th July 2012 8pm


Do you have questions about the future of secondary provision in Sevenoaks?
This is a unique opportunity to hear views from key parties in a Question Time / Any Questions style panel debate.  
Date: Thursday 12th July 8pm 
Venue: Auditorium, Knole Academy, Bradbourne Vale Road
Hosted by Roger Kasper of the Sevenoaks Chronicle the panel includes:
  • Head of the Knole Academy Mary Boyle
  • Education Consultant Peter Read
  • Chair, Christian Free School bid team Bill Lattimer
  • KCC - TBC
Do you have a burning question you'd like to ask the panel?  Submit a question here 
Entry is free of charge, you can simply turn up on the night.  If you want to guarantee a seat you can reserve one in advance by registering below.


Have you completed the survey yet?  If not find how here

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Secondary Schools for Sevenoaks - the Survey

Show that you care about school provision in Sevenoaks


Please complete the survey before Sunday 15th July 2012



Haven't there been discussions already on additional schools, including KCC approving a grammar school annexe in Sevenoaks?

KCC has identified a future shortfall of 180 secondary school places for the area and is planning to create 4 additional forms of entry at a selective grammar annexe based in Sevenoaks and add 2 additional forms of entry to Knole Academy, taking it to 10 per year. The current plan is to have these additional places available by September 2015. 
The creation of schools is no longer solely within KCC’s control. This means that if another organisation were to set up a separate school then KCC may need to reconsider its current plans. This survey provides an opportunity for residents to signal their requirements for education now and in the future.



Why should I complete this survey?
This is a unique chance to express your views on an issue that could affect you and your children’s future. We need to get as big a response as possible to ensure any ideas represent the entire community. Even if your children are already at secondary school, your experiences are really helpful to us. Please help us to shape the provision of secondary education in Sevenoaks.



Friday, 15 June 2012

Lottery Money To Help With Plan For Secondary Education


We are delighted to announce that Sevenoaks ACE has received an award of nearly £6,000 from the Big Lottery fund to ensure that its survey on secondary education provision can reach the whole community and responses can be professionally and quickly analysed.

Letters have been sent to 100 local primary and secondary schools, nurseries and pre-schools asking for their support in distributing information about the survey to families in the Sevenoaks area.  A large number of these have responded to say they will help.  Additionally a leaflet will be included in July's Vine magazine giving people details of how they can complete the survey.

ACE intends to deliver information about the survey to each participating organisation with a prize for those organisations that achieve the highest response rates.

This is a huge project, and a true community consultation without a pre-determined outcome in mind.  Decisions on secondary education for the area are likely to be made quickly and we realise that we can’t rely on volunteers  to do the analysis in a short enough time.  To have secured this funding at a time when grant applications are highly competitive is recognition of the importance of what we set out to achieve.


Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Kent County Council Education Commissioning Consultation

Kent County Council has published a mammoth document which outlines its commissioning strategy for early years, primary, secondary, post 16 and SEN across Kent.


http://consultations.kent.gov.uk/consult.ti/EducationProvision/consultationHome


The document itself contains some interesting data on birth rates across the different districts vs Kent and the national picture and Sevenoaks in particular seems to be much higher.  


If you are interested in education provision locally, for any age group, please try to read it and provide feedback.  


Having attended a consultation meeting for Headteachers and Governors today it is clear that there are many valid points that should be raised during this consultation which runs until the 19th June.


The more we as a community get involved in this process, the more likely we are to end up with education services that meet our needs.


KCC is no longer an education provider - it is a commissioner.  What does this mean?  It means that they have to work with providers such as schools, academies, free schools and so on to meet the need for places.  Schools are able to expand almost at will (within their existing buildings) and if expansion will help KCC meet the need for places that it predicts is required, it will fund the capital to create such places.


The educational landscape is changing.  This is another chance for this community to have its voice heard.



Thursday, 29 March 2012

Coverage from the Council Debate

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

BBC South East Today

The campaign for a grammar school for Sevenoaks featured on BBC South East Today on Monday 26th March, in anticipation of the full council debate to be held on Thursday 29th March.


Sevenoaks ACE has always campaigned for sufficient secondary school places that meet the needs of the community.  The difficulty right now is that discussion about the grammar school is over-shadowing the wider issue on overall capacity.  Kent County Council is proposing to create 180 additional secondary school places in the Sevenoaks area.  With plans for 120 of these to be grammar, how will the remaining 60 be provided? 


Within a selective education system, in order to meet the needs of the community, grammar provision is likely to be part of the solution.


There are presently 180 children in year 7 travelling to grammar schools in Tonbridge and T.Wells from the Sevenoaks area.  There are 224 children making the same journey to other types of schools.  


Establishing a grammar school in Sevenoaks is just one part of a bigger problem that we hope to help resolve.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

What is meant by an Annexe?



On Thursday KCC will debate the petition for grammar school annexes for Sevenoaks.  What exactly is an annexe, how could it operate, and which schools might be involved?



What is an annexe?
An annexe is created when an existing school enlarges its capacity through expanding its premise to an additional site.  In such a situation the regulations state that consultation is required and that the consultation proposal must describe why an additional site is necessary.  There appears to be no test case for how far away an annexe may be created, and still be deemed an annexe rather than a new school.  For many an annexe implies a site close to the main school, dealing with overspill.  Can a remote site, with independent facilities, infrastructure and staffing be regarded as an annexe?


How could it operate?
The West Kent Learning Forum is a loose knit group of head-teachers from the 17 secondary schools in West Kent.  This area covers Sevenoaks, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Paddock Wood and Cranbrook.  Following a meeting with KCC on 26th January at which the heads were asked if they would support grammar school annexes in Sevenoaks, several of those head teachers have made public comments.


Stuart Reeves, head teacher of Mascalls School in Paddock Wood and chairman of West Kent Learning Forum, said his fellow forum members were "wary" of the prospect of a new grammar school in Sevenoaks.   He added: "I'm not sure the appetite for it exists and it may be that it brings schools to overcapacity."


Ian Bauckham, the head of Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Tunbridge Wells who is not being asked to create an annexe of his school, has said "an annexe to a grammar school some miles away from the "parent" school would cause many practical difficulties."


Robert Masters, head of The Judd school in Tonbridge which operates a super-selective policy, and is not being asked to create an annexe has said that Kent County Council's preferred solution of creating an annexe or two annexes to an existing grammar school "is not immediately attractive to most head teachers for a number of reasons".  He added: "Clearly if new provision was to be made in Sevenoaks then a new standalone grammar school focussing on Sevenoaks would be the best solution, but that is not permissible in law at the present time."


The head of Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys, John Harrison, who is likely to be asked to create an annexe of his school to accommodate Sevenoaks boys has said: "Any increase in provision needs to be very carefully considered.  I think it is wise for the local authority to consider a range of possible options to meet the increased demand and grammar school provision should be a consideration within that.  I am aware a Kent County Council debate is scheduled for the end of the month and, following that, some clarity over the way forward might exist."


From a day to day perspective, the questions on how an annexe might be run are endless? 

  • How often will the head be on site?
  • Will the Senior Leadership Team have to spend time travelling between sites?
  • How will children wishing to participate in school sports teams get to training sessions and at which site will they occur?
  • Will existing staff move to the annexe or will it be staffed by new recruits?
  • Will existing Sevenoaks children at the "parent school" be able to move to the annexe or will it open purely for year 7 admissions in its first year?
  • In 2011 63 Boys and 68 Girls accepted places at the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells grammar schools.  KCC's proposal is for 2 forms of boys and 2 forms of girls, ie 60 each.  So what will hapen to the remaining children, and how will population increases impact on this?
  • Will staff work across both annexes or will there need to be up to 10 staff (to cover all subjects) for each annexe ie 20 staff for 120 pupils in year 1?
Which schools might be involved?
In accordance with the Government’s position that there should be no increase in academic selection, the expansion of grammar schools ... [is] excluded from capital incentive schemes.  The consensus is that a secondary school that is a selective Academy (ie a grammar school that has converted to an Academy) would be unlikely to be able to open an annexe as its funding is from central government, rather than KCC.


The only boys grammar school in Tunbridge Wells or Tonbridge that does not super-select is Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys.  The other school most likely to be considered for a girl's annexe is Tunbridge Wells Girls Grammar.  Both of these schools are about 11 miles away.


Weald of Kent which is slightly nearer has already coverted to an Academy


Newsted Woods and St Olaves in Orpington are both super-selective operating their own entrance exams, and outside of the Kent authority.


Further afield, there are several grammar schools in Dartford and Wilmington, which is about 13 miles away;  Dartford Grammar School for Boys is an Academy; Dartford Grammar School for Girls operates a catchment system with defined areas, and in the case that it is over-subscribed from these areas, awards places to the highest scores.  Wilmington Grammar School for Boys and Wilmington Grammar School for Girls are both Academies.


Maidstone which is about 16 miles away has Invicta Grammar School (an Academy), Oakwood Park (an Academy), Maidstone Grammar School for Boys which has complicated oversubscription criteria that gives priority to boys scoring a total of over 390 in the Kent tests and living in named parishes and Maidstone Grammar School for Girls


Finally, Cranbrook School, in Cranbrook, some 25 miles away, the only co-educational grammar school in the area admits at 13+ rather than 11+ and has its own selection test.  Rumours are circulating that it may be considering admitting from Year 7 instead of Year 9.


Summary
KCC is to debate the petition for a grammar school in Sevenoaks on 29th March.  Whilst it may be legally possible to create an annexe and there is no doubt that many Sevenoaks families would like grammar provision in the town, legally this is uncharted territory.  Is an annexe some 11 miles away just wishful thinking?  If it can be created, is the proposition compelling enough to persuade head teachers and parents that it can work?

Saturday, 17 March 2012

How Strong is the Community Spirit?

A copy of our letter this week in the Sevenoaks Chronicle:



I have heard it said that Sevenoaks has a strong community spirit.  Right now could be the greatest test of this assertion.  Once again significant numbers of local children have been disappointed with secondary school offers; being offered a non-selective that wasn’t on the application form or a school they’ve never heard of in Maidstone. 

This year however, something different has happened.  Knole Academy has undertaken to specifically cater for these students locally, by offering a grammar stream, a guarantee that they will be in the top streams at least until year 9.   So – this community has a choice.  It can continue to go on waiting lists and appeal for places at what will be increasingly over-crowded schools, some 9-12 miles away, or it can do something different.  I have heard of groups of 3 or 4 parents making pacts between themselves to accept the places offered at Knole.  Knole already has 11+ children in each year; what if 30 parents were prepared to make a public pact?  An entire form of grammar ability children, with such parental and peer support, working in partnership with the school would be a powerful force.  There is a lot at stake here for Knole.  Its reputation is on the line; established as an all ability school, with Sevenoaks School as a sponsor to cater for exactly this type of child – are they seriously going to allow this to fail? 

Many people discount Knole without having even stepped over the threshold.  I have heard from a wide range of people that Knole doesn’t offer triple science – a commonly held opinion that on investigation reveals itself to be untrue.  Knole won’t be the right option for all children, but perhaps for 25 – 30 of those in the nightmare situation right now, it could be. 

Can community spirit win through?

Monday, 12 March 2012

March Newsletter



News from Sevenoaks ACE

March 2012

Results Published | Your Likes, Dislikes and Wants

We have now published the results of the likes, dislikes and wants survey that we ran in January and February.  As an “open ended” piece of data collection where  residents could state, in free format, what they thought about these aspects, it was not particularly scientific, but it has highlighted some perceptions of issues which we will investigate more thoroughly in our quantitative survey later this year.

The full list of wantslikes and dislikes is available on our website.

Next Steps...

Development of the full survey is now well underway.  Using ideas, comments and perceptions highlighted by the likes, dislikes and wants, we are putting together a quantitiatve survey to gain better understanding of people's views about secondary school provision for the Sevenoaks area.  We hope to distribute this survey to all families in the Sevenoaks area including surrounding villages and towns who would have access to secondary school provision in the town.  For children of primary and secondary school age this is relatively straight forward in that we can hopefully use school's to provide a distribtuion channel.  Families with pre-school age children present a greater problem.  If you or somebody you know is involved with a nursery, playgroup, pre-school or other organisation and would be willing to help us with the distribtion of our survey then please get in touch.

Why is this important?

KCC has acknowledged that population increases over the next few years are going to put tremendous strain on secondary school places for children in the Sevenoaks areas.  The population in T.Wells is set to increase by around 200 11 year olds in 2013!  Such a high proportion of Sevenoaks children have historically attended schools in T.Wells; grammar, faith and non-selective schools - they are simply going to be pushed out of catchment on distance rules.

KCC must provide sufficient capacity.  It is a legal obligation.  Whilst there are two proposals on the table, neither is yet a guarantee of future capacity, and if for some reason, neither is able to happen, then plan B will have to be put in place, and quickly.  Any decision over a free school, a grammar school or a plan 'B' will be hugely strengthened by a body of evidence of the demands of local parents.

Secondary School Offers made
March 1, 2012

KCC Cabinet Debate on Secondary Provision for Sevenoaks
March 29, 2012

Free School bid interviews
End April 2012 onwards

Get in Touch

Do you have a little spare time to help our team.  There is a huge amout of work in the administration of the survey which, if shared out could be cut into manageable chunks.  If you feel strongly about the future of secondary education in Sevenoaks, then please get in touch and see how you might help.

E: info@sevenoaksace.org
W: www.sevenoaksace.org
FB: www.facebook.com/sevenoaksace
twitter: @sevenoaksace

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Survey Results - Likes, Dislikes & Wants

In January and February this year, we asked the community in the Sevenoaks area to tell us what 3 things they like, dislike and want to see for secondary school provision for the area.


We have now analysed the responses we have received and summarised them in the presentation below.  If you want to see the full list of likes, dislikes or wants these are shown on individual pages on this site.  If you haven't yet given us your views, it isn't too late and we'd love to hear from you - just click the menu at the top of the page.
Likes, Dislikes & Wants Results

View more presentations from Sevenoaks ACE.

Survey Results - What You Want

Thanks to those of you who gave us your thoughts on what you'd like to happen for secondary school provision for the Sevenoaks area.  We've listed all the wants mentioned (in descending order of frequency) below:


  • Grammar Annexe    
  • No response    
  • Higher academic achievement/behaviour    
  • Christian Free School Proposal/ Faith school    
  • Grammar Annexe - Mixed    
  • Choice of selective and non-selective    
  • Comprehensive option    
  • Grammar Annexe - Single Sex    
  • Choice of non-selective schools    
  • Better/safer/cheaper transport to out of town schools    
  • Grammar stream / non-selective grammar school    
  • Co-educational options    
  • Maximum journey of 20 minutes to school    
  • Single sex schools    
  • Values based, inclusive education, relevant focus    
  • Admission based on geography    
  • Sufficient secular capacity    
  • Knole to become outstanding/better    
  • Partnership between local schools    
  • Another secondary school    
  • More capacity    
  • More local places    
  • Outstanding school(s)    
  • A school to be proud of    
  • Community engagement    
  • Good teaching/discipline/curriculum    
  • Excellent provision for all    
  • Greater community service    
  • Church attendance not used in selection    
  • Greater engagement from Knole    
  • No faith school    
  • Provision for high achievers (late developers)    
  • Fairer selection system    
  • Changes to benefit the town and children    
  • Smaller non-selective school    
  • Located close to centre    
  • Better extra-curricular activities/breadth of curriculum    
  • More funding    
  • No (more) grammar schools    
  • Single sex and co-ed options    
  • Equality of funding per pupil across schools    
  • Dedicated provision for learning disabilities    
  • Match Tonbridge provision    
  • Larger schools    
  • Out of area applications a concern    
  • Either of the proposed options    
  • Disbanding of catchment grammar schools    
  • Additional non religious school    
  • Focus on sport    
  • More support for appreticeships    
  • Road safety problems for proposed options    
  • Private schools with moderate fees    
  • School within walking distance    
  • International/global focus    
  • Interviews as part of admissions  


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