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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 11:52 am 
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Posts: 280
Not much sleuthing required to work out something is afoot:

1) Digger on site last week.
2) Men in hard hats and the sound of activity behind the main Wildernesse building today.
3) Sign on entrance to one of the site carparks says it is reserved for Willmott Dixon subcontractors.

According to Sevenoaks Chronicle (20 September) last year, the plan was for Knole Academy to vacate the site at the start of this Summer and for Wilmott Dixon to move in, tear down the existing classrooms and start building. It was reported that the grammar school build would commence first - over the footprint of the existing building - with work on the new free school starting 10 weeks later at the south west of the site.

The location of current activity suggests preparation is underway for the first phase of the work as planned, ie, the grammar school!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:13 pm 
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It wouldn't surprise me. If they don't get on with it, the free school is going to be USC, and I just don't see KCC building the free school and not the grammar school.


Will it convert to a nice hotel with tennis courts if the grand plan fails?

Of course, they may just be doing all the demolition work.

Is there a boys' school in tow? It's only Weald parents who have told us on here that Weald is still in talks. Have TWGSB parents heard anything? Certainly the head of TWGSB thought it was a bad idea having a satellite school at that distance when the talks were taking place a year or two ago. Has anything changed?

It's certainly all a mystery including where the money is coming from. All of us!


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:57 pm 
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Yes, it would be great to get an update re: current Weald thinking and which boys' grammars have been approached. Also, I wonder if anyone with Trinity connections can help us?

Matthew Tate, Trinity's head, was rather circumspect in the Sevenoaks Chronicle last week. The most (and not very) useful sentence in the same article was: 'Alongside the county council, architects and the district's grammar school campaigners, Trinity is now working to create a permanent base on the old Wildernesse School site...which it will share with a selective campus.'. Note: will, not may.

Even if the current work is only site preparation and demolition, it's coming out of KCC's and/or the DoE's budget/s. As you say, Mystery, it's our money, and we should expect full transparency.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:59 pm 
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Location: kent
No - No consultation at all with TWBGs to date

_________________
kent mum


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:06 pm 
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You mean no consultation with the parents, or no discussion between KCC and the head / governors?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:42 pm 
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Surely the building work must have gone out to tender or been part of single tender waiver, you would think that either should be documented somewhere online or on council minutes. Anyone skilful enough to find it?


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:11 pm 
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Kent Business Portal would be the place. Can't find anything though. Can't find anything to do with Bond Bryan who did the building design either. Maybe I'm just not doing it right or it's not one of the councils that placed the contract.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:39 pm 
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The Willmott Dixon website shows they do a lot of educational new builds - and I believe they constructed the extra facilities at Knole Academy recently.

If they were already retained at the time of the Sevenoaks Chronicle article last September, any tendering process must have been some time ago. The land is owned by KCC, so I'd expect tenders to be at their instigation, but things may work differently in collaboration with central government - free school budgets residing with the DoE.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:24 pm 
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Maybe it is an e f a contract that has commenced? Or maybe Knole academy has to vacate the site in a particular condition and this is what is going on?

You need one of those cameras to attach to your head chimera-ra and you can put some video footage on here each time you do a site inspection. Maybe kcc is building a secret new grammar school down in the dip. It will only be be visible when the third storey commences and the children who attend it will have to slip in and out for schooling from dusk to dawn.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:09 pm 
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I'm prepared to try dark glasses and dummy visits to the post box (just kidding...) but as the current activity is behind the main building, there's not likely to be much to see unless I catch more moving equipment or materials arriving. I'll put dog-walking neighbours on alert however. It's a pair of those new Google glasses I need.


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