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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 7:42 pm 
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We're considering our options for next year. Does anyone out there have any experience of non-church goers ever securing a place at Bennett Memorial?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:48 pm 
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Hi,
I am not sure about Bennett without a Church reference, but if you are in the Sevenoaks area you will be fine for Trinity as they have 50% places allocated by distance irrespective of church attendance. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 5:51 am 
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Maybe if trinity opens there will be a higher chance of getting in to Bennett without being a church attender. Trinity would be more convenient though. Bennett is as far from sevenoaks as the furthest grammar school children travel to.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:18 am 
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That's a good point about Trinity potentially freeing up Bennett places.

What I really want to know is whether Bennett ever have any places left over by the time they have worked their way down their list of the different categories of Christians and other faiths and allocated those places. We won't qualify under special needs, siblings, or children in care either.

It is Bennett's proven history of academic excellence that we are interested in and we will be prepared to travel for that.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 8:54 am 
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If you e-mail the school they will be able to tell you year on year what happened on 1 March according to their admissions policy. You will quickly be able to see if any years you would have gained a place on 1 March from your category.

You will also be able to ask them what happened on waiting lists and appeals each year.

I think I am right in saying that you are unlikely to get in on 1 March but with persistence and nailbiting you might get in at some later point.

Have you considered St Greg's? Also good. I know children who have recently gone on to study medicine from there. It does take non-Catholics. Standards possibly not as high as Bennett but still a school that parents are very happy with.

I somehow have this feeling that the standards at Trinity could turn out rather well. The staff list looks good and their plans and thoughts for education do too. Also it will likely be small for the first two years at least so children will be well known to the head, deputy etc.

As a 2014 applicant you have more certainty than some - you will (hopefully) know whether or not the Christian school will exist or not, and you also know that the new grammar will not exist for 2014. Also, I have this hunch that this particular cohort in the Sevenoaks District is smaller than the year above and the year below.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 12:29 pm 
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We telephoned Bennett last year with regard to sending our children there. My husband and I are both CofE been married for 12 years, both confirmed the children are all baptized and it is our closest high school. Due to our jobs we can't attend church on a regular basis. I was told that as we don't attend church regularly we would have a very slim chance of our children being given a place. I replied with SO, if I had 7 children by 5 different Fathers didn't marry any of them, my children weren't baptized but I parked my a*** in the front 5 row of the church for the 2 years preceding our children enrolment I would be more likely to be given a place. To this the secretary didn't answer. I then went on to say surely sacraments mean more than my behaviour on a Sunday morning for the past 2 years. I was then told they do there admissions by the school and KCC policy. I would say if you want to get into Bennett you best go to church and get yourself known!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 2:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:16 pm
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Location: Tunbridge Wells, Kent
The only children I know who have got into Bennett without gazillions of god points were either in local authority care or had a statement of sen. Even friends who went to church fairly regularly but not every week didn't get in (and that's most years over the last five years).


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:43 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2008 11:46 am
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I do know someone who got in on a pastoral place but they had to provide hugh amounts of evidence of why the school would benefit their child.
However, the schools ethos is very 'churchy'. This suits us, we have a place but are not C of E. We fell into 'other denomination' category and so were high up in that one as being very near too.
I must admit I think you/your child may find it hard if you weren't church goers - there is a big emphasis on it being as big part of the school.
Bennett is always over subscribed - I don't know about St Gregs.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 4:01 pm 
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Peter45, love your conversation with the school secretary - guess she didn't enjoy it quite so much! :lol:


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 11, 2013 7:37 pm 
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Joined: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:37 pm
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Judging by all these helpful responses, the chance of a non-church goer getting into Bennett is about zero. It's probably too late for DC1 then, but does anyone know what would be the minimum attendance necessary to get a place for DC2 in the future? Would going to a non-Anglican church make much of a difference?

Bennett's admission criteria is beginning to make 11+ verbal reasoning look straight forward!


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