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 Post subject: The Skinners Academy
PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:25 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 14, 2010 5:14 pm
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My daughter has been offered a place at The Skinners Academy which I believe is rebranded Tunbridge Wells High. Does anyone know of anything about the school. We don't live in the area some I am not familiar with it. Only that it's results aren't good.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:37 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 08, 2009 11:09 am
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Don't know much I'm afraid.
You are right in that it was Tunbridge Wells High, it was turned into an Academy last year, and is a collaboration between Skinners' Company, and I think West Kent College and KCC.

The results are obviously from before it was an Academy, but don't know how things will change now.

I presume from your name that you are in Sevenoaks, which means that it is quite a way to travel to an 'all ability school' did you apply for anything closer?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 12:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 1:14 pm
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Location: Kent
My son was offered this school and its also not our nearest. I assumed as we put Skinners GS as 1st choice they thought we didnt mind the travelling.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 1:06 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 3:43 pm
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Location: Twells
As a High School it was always undersubscribed, perhaps following the "rebranding" they are trying to get the numbers up to warrant the amount of money that has been spent in re-generating it, I think from what I have heard that the teaching staff from Skinners GS have to do a 'stint' of teaching there.

You would have thought you would have got Mascells from Paddock Wood.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2006 6:09 pm
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Location: groombridge, e.sussex
There is anarticle in todays' Courier (tun wells edition) re allocations and Skinners' Academy. The Head is suggesting people go and see for themselves rather than going on past reputation. I'm sure they are expecting phone calls to do this so it may be worth a look.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:51 pm
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It will be interesting if they can turn it around but getting pupils to go there will be a major challenge as it has historically been avoided. It hasn't offered A levels in the past either although I think they are planning to add a 6th Form which should make some difference.

Most TW residents will make sure they get their children into one of the church schools or a comprehensive in Tonbridge or East Sussex rather than choose the High School. But I doubt whether anyone actually goes to look round or knows anything about it.

I believe it has a really small number of pupils - the admissions booklet says "expected number on roll 317" - but I read somewhere that they are aiming for pupil numbers of 2000 which has led to protests already about the impact on local traffic etc.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:58 pm
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A brand new school should be ready on the existing site in 2012 and I'm sure that the plan is to admit up to 1200 students, including a new sixth form. Everyone I know that has been to look at the school has been extremely impressed with the new Head. The problem is just getting people to commit to their own child going there. You can't look at historic results as the whole curriculum has changed and they are now following an IB style curriculum.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 7:48 pm 
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Joined: Mon Sep 21, 2009 7:01 pm
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I know a child who missed the 11+ who is going to the Skinners' Academy by choice. His parents chose it in the hope that it will be 'on the up' and a good choice in the long run. They have been offered free transport with a direct bus from a very rural location some distance from TWells so there may be 'incentives' so to speak, on offer. I wish them every success but I can understand the reluctance of parents to commit their children to a 'maybe'.

Many people will still prefer to send their child to Uplands or Beacon until Skinners' Academy is proven. I hope it works as TWells could do with a really good general school and if it does succeed perhaps this will reduce some of the pressures regarding grammar school selection.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 05, 2010 10:57 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 13, 2009 7:07 pm
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I was one of the few parents who did go the open evenings held last term. Head was very impressive and has great plans. School itself has a very run down feel. The buildings revamp takes place in 2012. The majority of the current pupils go onto West Kent College for 6th form although there is a planned 6th form intake. Recent GCSE results have been very low with an emphasis on the non-academic subjects but local primary schools are working very hard to 'push' the academy to reluctant parents with several events held there. I have a Year 6 local child and so far know no-one who intends to accept a place there - unfortunate but true.


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