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 Post subject: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:42 am 
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Posts: 68
Attention Sevenoaks..... We can talk about scores and catchments all we like but as soon as we get our DC's into a school on appeal or waiting list we don’t care as it becomes someone else's problem. The only way is to kick up a fuss now, next week, next month and next year. I don’t mean British tut- tutting at the school gate or over a glass of something, I mean getting under the skin of your MP etc.
As for specifics I would like to mention Knole, good luck to it.
I have little doubt that it continues to improve in the future and it will be a success...as for now mmmmm.
The proposed grammar stream looks like a half-arsed attempt at soothing parents like myself (Or political spite due to the petition) and I can only say it's done wonders, as I now want to string up KCC from the nearest lampposts. Some at Knole staff clearly do not even believe in grammars and streaming.
Knole is not even two years old and has undergone all the turmoil of joining two schools together, with a new status, boys and girls together, and from one side parental objections at the start.
They are undergoing growing pains, and bedding in to their new site, status, and role within the community.
It's in all a state of flux and cannot do anything but be a series of distractions for now.
That's why for now, I will not send my son there to participate in a Grammar Stream.
I want him to go to a stable academic environment that is all pervasive, not being an appendix afterthought resented by some. Not to be isolated in the school like in a cage to be used by others to 'big up' the schools rep.
At present they can't even be trusted to post the most important letters in our child's education to date, on the right day. We received our 'welcome' letter on the 1st of March and KCC say it should even be posted until 6th March.
"So what?" you say well it can only be seen as indicative of silly mistakes that do not inspire confidence one iota.
There may be one possible good thing to take from this "stream" thing.
It is pretty much an official recognition that a shortage of grammar places do existing Sevenoaks. Next step a grammar school.
At the risk of upsetting my Christian friends, not a Christian stream but a grammar stream.
I do feel as though the Christian school campaign have jumped not just on the bandwagon but on the backs of people who have fought long and hard for this grammar school. I always heard of people on local radio and in the Chronicle bemoaning the lack of grammar schools not Christian ones...not until a site became available though!
Get on to Mr Fallon and tell him to stop fence sitting. Get the grammar school going NOW!

_________________
"She sets herself very low standards, which sadly, she constantly fails to meet"
"He has an eclectic collection of information at his disposal" ....i.e. He cheats by looking at others answers.


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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 7:48 am 
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Well written. Your post gives one of the clearet explanations of the situation I have seen. (I feel like I am a teacher marking a paper. Definitely an A*!)


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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:28 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 6257
Redrobyn, I did write to Mr Fallon some years ago about all of this, before DS1 even did his 11+ and when Wilderness was still Wilderness, I asked him some questions and do you know what I got in response? A letter telling me that my comments were very interesting and he would pass them to the policy department! The Tories weren't even in power then!

Do you know what form this month's meeting is going to take and what will actually be established at it?


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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:08 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2012 9:08 pm
Posts: 60
Hi Doodles,

Sorry to jump in, I just wanted to share some information, this is part of an email which I received from Sevenoaks Grammar Campaign explaining the meeting:

"As you probably know the full debate at Kent County Council on the proposed Sevenoaks Grammar School is to be held on the 29th March in Maidstone. Andrew Shilling has been given five minutes to put the case for a Sevenoaks grammar school and then the council will debate the issue for no longer than 45 minutes. We think that it would be a good idea to have as many supporters there as possible to show the strength of parental support so please come if you are able and also tell any friends who you think would be interested in coming as well.

I do not have a confirmed time yet for the debate although I have been told that it will probably be held at about 2pm. I will confirm the actual time as soon as I know.

The debate will be held at: Council Chamber, Sessions House, County Hall, Maidstone, ME14 1XQ.

The council only have seating in the debating chamber for 45 members of the public and if more than that are attending they will need to make alternative arrangements so I would appreciate it if you could give me an idea if you are coming. I hope as many as possible of you are able to make it."

If you are going to attend they would like you to let them know please at sevenoaksgrammar@btinternet.com

Hope this helps, I am in no way affiliated, just passing on info as I was always a keen supporter but now all the more so given current situation!


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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:32 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
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Perfect, thank you.


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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 5:23 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:20 pm
Posts: 68
Pheasantchick,Thanks for the kind comment.
However the problem is this, my, and most peoples little rants are preaching to the already converted.
We need to write to the Chronicle, MP's, Councillors, KCC etc and prepare cases for the people who have not made up their minds or who have no opinion as well as the ones who are hostile to our intent.

Of course Mr Fallon made a passing comment some time ago and hoped it would go away. Forgive me for saying this but MP's cant demand public enquiries over Mrs Jones cat being runover just because she wrote to him no matter how important it is to her, but if its an important issue such as yours was Doodles, then a steady stream of unrelenting pressure being debated from all directions is what would make them sit up and act. Michael Fallon has a foot in both the Christian camp and the Grammar Camp, and may need to be nudged to one side of the fence he is sitting on.

Lets all write to the Chronicle and KCC, in the next 24 hrs, it doesnt need to be long just accurate and fair, it doesnt matter if it gets into the weeks after Chroncle, as long as you and your friends do it. Yes you will be fobbed off with the unmoveable logistics and legailities or calmed down by being patronised by soothing noises. No it wont change things there and then but its another bit of pressure. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
It must be worth it for our children and of course subsequent children. Lets not forget it would also make the headteachers at excellent schools like Amherst, St Thomas etc feel that at last it isnt all in vain.
Personally I feel deeply angry, and see myself, rather sadly, at times like this as the Saxon in Kiplings poem.

"My son" said the Norman Baron, "I am dying and you will be heir
To all the broad acres in England that William gave me for my share; When we conquered the Saxon at Hastings, and a nice little handful it is. But before you go over to rule it I want you to understand this; "The Saxon is not like us Normans. His manners are not so polite. But he never means anything serious till he talks about justice and right. When he stands like an ox in the furrow with his sullen set eyes on your own, And grumbles, 'This isn't fair dealing', my son,.... leave the Saxon alone."


Best wishes people

_________________
"She sets herself very low standards, which sadly, she constantly fails to meet"
"He has an eclectic collection of information at his disposal" ....i.e. He cheats by looking at others answers.


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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:27 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:00 pm
Posts: 4
The time for action is indeed now. We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to get a grammar school established in Sevenoaks. Although this will not help this year's cohort who passed the 11 plus and were offered Knole Academy, this will help future generations of children from Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells, and eliminate most of the problems raised on this forum.

Over 2,500 of us are petitioning KCC (the Local Education Authority) to establish a Sevenoaks grammar school. The petition has five days to go, and is here for anyone who still wants to sign it:-

http://democracy.kent.gov.uk/mgepetitio ... aspx?bcr=1

The success of the petition has triggered a full Council debate at County Hall in Maidstone on 29th March where we will present our case, and the councillors will debate and then vote on our proposal. All supporters are welcome to attend. Please email us on sevenoaksgrammar@btinternet.com if you wish to come.

This year's allocation of secondary school places, where 45 West Kent children (mostly from Sevenoaks) passed the 11 Plus test but were not offered grammar school places, provided a frightening glimpse of the near future when all Sevenoaks children will be outside the catchment areas of the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells grammar schools, meaning that the super-selective grammar schools will be their only option.

Our children will then be directly competing for grammar school places with children from London, Surrey and Sussex – with the very highest scorers gaining the coveted places, and everyone else losing out.

Our 2,500 supporters believe that the solution is for KCC to establish a Sevenoaks grammar school that operates a catchment area-based admissions policy, and not super-selection. The (shortly to be vacant) Wildernesse site in Sevenoaks appears to be the only suitable location large enough to accommodate the required extra grammar school places.

A Sevenoaks grammar school would ensure that all Sevenoaks and West Kent children who pass the 11 Plus test would receive the grammar school places they deserve, and not just the very highest scorers from across South-East England.

Sevenoaks Grammar School Campaign
http://sevenoaksgrammar.com


Last edited by SGSCampaign on Tue Mar 13, 2012 1:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:58 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:37 pm
Posts: 102
I'm new to actually writing anything on the forum, as opposed to just reading it but curious as to how the Knole Academy plans to have anything resembling a "grammar stream" when their league tables show that only 12% of their pupils achieved 5 A to C grades in what I consider to be academic subjects, ie the English Baccalaureate. From their rather vague website, they don't even appear to offer three separate sciences so how can that possibly be a grammar education? To be fair, I understand they're great at hairdressing and child development.

Please don't patronise us Knole by pretending to be what you are not and saying that you offer as good an academic education as the Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells Grammars. We don't believe you.


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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:17 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 3:20 pm
Posts: 68
SCATHING Bristol! positively scathing!
But the truth hurts.

Please everyone write a few lines to MP and paper, lets not just post here to like minded souls.
Be angry by all means but channel it into positive action!
You too Bristols, but tone it a down a bit we want to seem 'reasonable' :wink:

_________________
"She sets herself very low standards, which sadly, she constantly fails to meet"
"He has an eclectic collection of information at his disposal" ....i.e. He cheats by looking at others answers.


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 Post subject: Re: Attention Sevenoaks
PostPosted: Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:04 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:37 pm
Posts: 102
Oh don't worry, I've already written copious letters to everyone that counts about our grammar school problem, without mentioning that elephant in the room: the Knole Academy.

Has it never occurred to the "Powers that Be" why we are so desperate for our children to pass the 11+ in the first place? And don't get me started on the discipline at Knole....!

Lots of letters to MPs, KCC and supporting the Grammar School Campaign are really important and I totally agree have the power to actually change something. Writing on this site has more of a cathartic effect.

There is a problem in Sevenoaks where we struggle to get our own children through the system and then forget about it for the next lot of kids. We need to get together and do something about it NOW. My own kids aside, a grammar school is the right thing for Sevenoaks.


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