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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 5:46 am 
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Went to the exhibition of plans at the donnington manor hotel last night.

The old wildernesse school will be demolished and the new free school will be built. Work will commence January 2014 and it will be ready for the free school to move into by September 2015.

Admissions applications will be via the c a f from this year onwards.

On the plans which were on show a potential new build grammar annex ( six forms of entry) is shown next door. If the dfe gives permission this autumn to either Weald or invicta to go ahead with an annex this will be built at the same time and would be ready for entry in September 2015.

Both schools have to be built on quite a restricted plot of land because of green belt restrictions so the footprint of the buildings has pretty much to be on the footprint of the old wilderness buildings.

The capital cost of the grammar annex would be incurred by kent county council according to the person I asked. Both schools will rent their land and buildings from the landowner, kent county council, at a peppercorn rent.

If the grammar school annex is not given the go ahead this autumn the plans can be redrawn as the site for the free school could then be less restricted.

I was a little disappointed that I could not put a sticky spot on the map which had been placed at the meeting to allow people at the exhibition to show where they lived. The map only showed a fairly small area around the school.

The exhibition was purely to show off the plans. There was no written blurb to explain any of the thinking behind it. Staff were there from Wilmot Dixon to answer questions as was the head of Trinity Free School, Matthew Tate. There may have been some others too but I am not sure who they all were.

I was near a very scary lady who, when I asked one of the staff present if the plans for the free school could change if the annex did not get the go ahead this autumn, gave me a bit of a lecture about how it must be going ahead because kcc would not have done all of this if there were not the numbers to justify expansion on this scale in sevenoaks. When she had finished the official was able to answer my (purely hypothetical?) question.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:49 am 
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You get all sorts don't you!
I went and saw the plans and I was very impressed. I think a site share would work well and I think it is great that the children from both schools could mingle.
If Sevenoaks gets both schools we will be very fortunate to have such choice. Speaking to Matthew Tate, I thought that Trinity sounds a great option. Now they have certainty on their permanent site I think they will go from strength to strength. We will certainly be considering Trinity as an option for our DS.
I truly hope the Grammar annexe does get the Go- Ahead, as I do believe Sevenoaks/ Westerham and the surrounding areas do need the school; but, I don't think your question, Mystery, was hypothetical- I asked just the same question!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:50 am 
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Optymum wrote:
You get all sorts don't you!
I went and saw the plans and I was very impressed. I think a site share would work well and I think it is great that the children from both schools could mingle.
If Sevenoaks gets both schools we will be very fortunate to have such choice. Speaking to Matthew Tate, I thought that Trinity sounds a great option. Now they have certainty on their permanent site I think they will go from strength to strength. We will certainly be considering Trinity as an option for our DS.
I truly hope the Grammar annexe does get the Go- Ahead, as I do believe Sevenoaks/ Westerham and the surrounding areas do need the school; but, I don't think your question, Mystery, was hypothetical- I asked just the same question!


:lol: Wish you had been next to me then. I wouldn't have felt quite so bad daring to imply that the answer might be a no from the DfE. I wonder if we could place bets on it - along with bets on C E M versus G L assessment for the test. We are very lucky in Kent having interesting educational cliffhangers quite often. This forum was dead only a few years back.

Where did you see the scope for mingling Optymum? I did rather feel that with the Free school play ground at the front, and the grammar school playground behind, and some high looking vegetation planned for the boundaries between the two sites that it was all very separate. The grammar annex had the pleasanter aspect too - front and back, I felt.

It did, however, look as though it was the best use of the available piece of land for two schools one of 4 form and one of 6 form, without any sharing of facilities having been accounted for in the design. At the moment they have to be completely standalone as there is no-one for the Christian School to discuss and agree facility sharing that would impact on design. I suppose also that for "future-proofing" both buildings (if both come to fruition) need to be complete in their own way. A bigger shared sports hall would be good though if the grammar did go ahead.

If the grammar does go ahead, the good thing is that Sevenoaks should get a bit more cosmopolitan when the grammar annex fills up with children from London boroughs to make up any downward fluctuations in numbers in the future.

I am hoping that if this annex goes ahead a Surrey grammar will set up an annex in East Surrey close to the Kent border.

Yes I agree the Christian School seems to be a very good thing. It's on my list of possibilities. It is wonderful for them too that the uncertainty over their permanent location is over, and that the public announcement has been made in time for children who are deciding at the moment what to put on the CAF this Autumn. It would have been a disaster for the 2014 admissions round to that school otherwise. Death by bureaucracy and politicking would have been the verdict.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Hi I also went to the exhibition last night, and was similarly impressed with the plans. I have a son in yr 5, so potentially he could go to either school.

I think I was lucky not to be standing next to the lady who didn't look favourably on people raising queries though... I asked the KCC guys about how their legal team are getting over the thorny issue of hoping to open an annex of either of two grammar schools where the admission criteria for the new school (mixed) is not the same as the parent schools. They didnt know, but to be fair, they were more on the construction side. I just can't get my head around how that one is going to be legal...

I just really hope the grammar school gets the go ahead from the D of E. I asked the Christian School if they would get the go ahead for them to move to Old Wilderness if the Grammar did not go ahead, and they said that was not certain, but there was an obligation for them to be found a site somewhere. So even that is not set in stone. But all in all, we are moving forward to more choice in Sevenoaks, which can only be good!


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Gosh! Who did you ask that question to? Matthew Tate, headteacher, and other officials present, and all the press releases so far and correspondence from the Christian School, have made it very clear that they will be building the new Christian School on the Wildernesse site, that building will start in January 2014, and that it will be occupied by the free school from September 2015.

Several people there made it crystal clear to me that the Christian School will go ahead there completely independently of the grammar annexe. It is the grammar annexe that is in question, currently on Michael Gove's desk. Who did you speak to who sowed these, surely incorrect, seeds of doubt? Maybe it was scary lady in another guise of misinformation expert?

An agreement has been reached with DfE, EFA, KCC and the free school over the new build at Knole east, and the lease at a peppercorn rent hasn't it?

http://trinitysevenoaks.org.uk/index.ph ... -confirmed

Document where you can read about the demand for places in the future, district by district:

Commissioning Plan for Education Provision in Kent 2012 - 2017

http://www.kent.gov.uk/education_and_le ... plans.aspx

The role of local authorities within the education sector has been redefined by a combination of legislation. Local authorities have significant core responsibilities as strategic commissioners of education provision, agents for school improvement and champions of children and their communities. The commissioning plan for education provision in Kent 2012 - 2017 (PDF, 718k) (click on the link above to get to this pdf sets out our future plans as strategic commissioner of education provision across all types and phases of education. We will update this on an annual basis and consult regularly on future developments. The Plan is currently being refreshed as a new 5 year rolling plan for 2013-18.

Read pages 34 and 35 of the pdf file for a quick summary.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 4:44 pm 
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I wish I hadn't mentioned it now, from all the sources Mystery says, it does look certain that the Christian School will get their slot on the Wilderness site. I can't remember who I spoke too, and maybe I mis understood. Sorry. The team all seem so dedicated, and have made a fabulous start, it will be great to see them settled.


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:35 pm 
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Hey, don't worry. If you heard it someone must have said it. Although a lot of people had badges on I find it difficult to speak to someone and read their badge, and depending on who you spoke to the grammar annexe viewpoint varied from definite to not sure. It was a gradient along the room!

Some pretty pictures for you of the plans as they currently stand:

http://sevenoaksgrammar.com/sevenoaks-g ... -revealed/

Not sure what the wording "first building" and "second building" means - don't think there is any significance to that phrasing.


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:42 pm 
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Thanks, Mystery. Just saw this link on twitter
http://www.sevenoakschronicle.co.uk/Vid ... story.html

Might be useful if anyone who didn't make the exhibit is interested in seeing a CGI of what the new schools would look like. Or indeed if you live nearby it might be of interest to see if from different angles which you can do


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:39 am 
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Showed that to my pro grammar dh who does not get involved in school stuff. Interesting reaction from him:
"it is shot from the grammar school angle much more of the time, the grammar school building has the pleasanter aspect, why is the school for 75 per cent much smaller than the school for 25 per cent, why is the grammar playground so much bigger than the other one?"


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