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PostPosted: Sun Jun 30, 2013 8:37 pm 
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Monday 8 July, 7pm, Amherst School. Weald of Kent are doing their presentation. Anyone going? Again I can't go and would like to read on here what it's about.

I'd like to know what's happening about the land at Knole, when an annex is likely to open if one goes ahead, if they think an all girls school can have a co-ed annex in another town, what the legal problems are, what their perspective is on the most up to date school population forecasts at the moment.

Most of all, are there going to be enough grammar places in September 2015 in West Kent, by hook or by crook, for a similar percentage of West Kent children to end up at grammar school as in previous years.

Thank you to those people who reported back on the Invicta meeting I couldn't go to. That was useful as the only summary on the grammar campaign website is very economical.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:03 am 
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I can't go but my sister is attending so I have asked her to take decent notes . She has a few questions to ask herself but will throw yours at them too if at all possible !


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 01, 2013 7:48 pm 
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Thank you Tigger 2. The whole thing is currently a baffling political minefield and goodness knows who sides with who on what. At the end of the day I'm confused as to whether an annex is really needed to accommodate a long term significant increase in children, or whether it would just be nice to have one that reduced travel time for some children but it would take children from other schools - either from existing grammars or from the top end of non-selectives within Kent and comprehensives over the border.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:26 am 
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The other site about education advice now gives an update about a local radio debate there was this morning between Invicta and Weald of Kent. It sounds from that as though Invicta, Weald are now both viewing this as a competition, and the cabinet member for education is publicly taking a neutral stance.

Did anyone listen to it?

It will be an interesting competition as the rules aren't clear, and whether or not a winner is wanted / needed isn't clear either!

Just need KCC to do a balanced appraisal of all options now ..... that's made a little harder I presume because of the undertaking last year by KCC to support an annex in Sevenoaks, and this year to give Invicta some money to come up with a proposal.

Interesting times in Kent if one didn't have children trying to go through the system at the moment.

This forum was so dull a few years back. Wish it could revert to that.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 6:57 pm 
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Hi there, looking forward to hearing from anyone who has been to any of the Weald presentations tonight or over the last week or so. Hope your sister got there Tigger2.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 7:56 pm 
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Hi there!

I went to both tonight's Wok Meeting and also to the Invicta one a while ago.

On balance and without any opinion on either school before I went, I felt that the Invicta proposal was extremely professional and convincing, and no question remained unanswered, however awkward. It was also a full to bursting audience. Interestingly, KCC also seemed to be +ve to what they were saying.

Firstly, I was quite surprised at how poorly attended Wok's consulation was tonight. They made their case on what they would be providing (which all sounded fine, if a little lacking on details compared to the Invicta one). They explained that they were approached by KCC back in January for a 4 form entry school and were aware at the time that KCC were in talks with Maidstone Grammar and Oakwood Park on this, but Wok at the time decided that they werent interested in a 4 form entry (rather a 6 form one) so declined.

However, Wok were 'surprised' to see Invicta's proposal in May for a 6 form entry Sevenoaks Grammar, and it was at this point that they apparently re-expressed their interest in a 6 form entry to KCC. Wok said that they had previously asked KCC to keep them in the loop - but this did not happen for some reason? This caused quite a bit of confusion during tonight's Meeting, especially as local councillor Richard Parry (who was very forthright in his sentiment for there to be a Sevenoaks Grammar) seemed to contradict what Wok had said, so you couldn't help wondering if there was a different agenda.

I must admit I left the Meeting feeling rather unconvinced by WoK's bid. The only thing I could think would make Wok want to get involved at this late stage was that (and this came out in their presentation) 500 girls currently go to Wok from Sevenoaks, so it seemed to me that the only reason they are also planning to bid is for financial reasons.

Both Invicta and Wok have said that are willing to share the Wilderness site with Trinity. However, when asked, the KCC representative (Kevin) said that should Michael Gove recommend this, they would strongly oppose this through legal channels (or words to that effect)!

The question now is..will this ever happen?!!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:22 pm 
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Oh thanks for that - sorry I'm not really clear what was presented by Invicta that wasn't presented by WoK - what were you hoping for that WoK didn't produce and what did Invicta answer that WoK couldn't?

I understand that Invicta had a computer aided mock up of the proposed building .... is that what you mean? Or did they talk about education in a more convincing way than WoK?

The thing about Weald not having been told about 6 F E rather than 4 F E is not new - that's in all the stuff that WoK has produced over the last few weeks. What did Richard Parry say about that? I presume it wasn't clear at that point because it is embarrassing in some way?

How poorly attended was it? Is that significant do you think? I have found what they put down on paper so far clear enough, and I think they have someone named in the letter they have sent to primary parents and Weald parents who will answer questions? Presumably these things are not decided according to the number of people turning up at meetings ... hope not as whichever one got the most bums on seats it's not a measure of how good the new school (sorry annex!) is going to be.

What exactly did you prefer about the Invicta proposal? If you were going to say yes to one and not the other (which as parents we are not required to do - it's up to the DfE to decide which proposal to go for) why would you choose Invicta rather than WoK?

Did they give you any idea of likely timescales? e.g. if Gove did say yes when would that be, and how long does it take to throw up one of those schools? I've seen huge schools built in a jiffy elsewhere but in West Kent everything seems to take decades ...... like the move to comprehensive education!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 08, 2013 8:39 pm 
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pp1 wrote:


I must admit I left the Meeting feeling rather unconvinced by WoK's bid. The only thing I could think would make Wok want to get involved at this late stage was that (and this came out in their presentation) 500 girls currently go to Wok from Sevenoaks, so it seemed to me that the only reason they are also planning to bid is for financial reasons.

Both Invicta and Wok have said that are willing to share the Wilderness site with Trinity. However, when asked, the KCC representative (Kevin) said that should Michael Gove recommend this, they would strongly oppose this through legal channels (or words to that effect)!

The question now is..will this ever happen?!!


The last question has always been on my mind .... I thought the whole thing was a bit of a joke until the council resolution in April 2012 as it all seemed to be based on an exaggerated account of children's journeys rather than on significant increases in pupil numbers.

Like you, I'm puzzled about the vehemence about the unwillingness to site share. Who was the KCC rep (Kevin?)? Where is KCC hoping that the Christian school will go in two years time? It is mentioned in their documents about planning for an increase in pupil numbers in Kent.

On the other point, I think you might have misunderstood the way that schools are funded. Weald (and presumably the other West Kent grammars too) did not put in proposals earlier because they were told there was a sufficient long term increase in pupils for 4 form entry only. The way that secondary school funding works would mean that it is difficult to provide the level of resources and specialist teaching that one would want to provide in a grammar school with a school of only 4 form entry. When it seemed that KCC was saying (and they are the holders of the data, not the schools) that there was going to be a sufficient increase in pupil numbers to justify a 6 form entry school they felt it was suitable to bid.

However, as I understand it, if the numbers were not there it would not be a good move for a West Kent grammar to run an annexe as all it is going to do is split the same number of pupils across two site and bump up costs. This is not a sensible decision that a governing body that is trying to safeguard a good education for children can take.

However, a school from another area can put in a proposal without worrying too much about whether the increase in pupil numbers justifies it or not, so long as they know that the locals will in the future choose to send their children there rather than to the other West Kent grammars, and that if insufficient locals take up places they can draw in children from other areas - all without affecting their main site as the schools are too far apart for there to be much overlap in "travel to school" areas. It would only be a very tiny number of pupils who might just choose to go to the Sevenoaks Invicta annex rather than the main site.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:57 am 
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Hi Mystery

Such a shame you couldnt go to the Meeting as I guess a lot of your questions would have been answered.

I guess a lot of my feeling came from the information presented from an educational perspective. Invicta's was a whole lot more convincing in the end, whereas WoK's seemed to be confused and on the back foot (but I guess it was always going to be seeing how they have entered into the bidding process at this late stage). But what do I know...I'm only a parent and dont know much about how the educational system works and at the end of the day, it seems that so many people are in one camp or the other and not thinking of the bigger picture that we just need a grammar school in S'oaks, regardless of who might win the bid!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 09, 2013 6:26 am 
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Yes, it was a pity. I am hoping though that the schools can fill me in on the missing details - with all those people there maybe someone has some minutes.

What was said by the audience or presented by the speakers at both meetings that made it feel like an invicta annex education would be superior to a weald annex education?

If there are big differences in this respect maybe dfe will take them into account when evaluating the two proposals? Or members of the public could point this out in their consultation responses?


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