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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 11:13 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 04, 2008 9:23 am
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Location: T Wells, KENT
Did anyone see the local news last night which high-lighted the plight of a sevenoaks child who passed the 11+ but was offered a school in folkstone?

With 4 choices on the form why did the parent not put a realisic comp choice? Am I being naive?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:05 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2007 5:45 pm
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Location: Medway & Kent
I didn't see this item on the news but I do have sympathy with the family. If their child passed the 11+ I suppose they assumed they would be offered a grammar place - which they should have. What are the local grammars for Sevenoaks?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:16 pm 
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I think you are being a bit naive.

If your child passed you would not think of putting a realistic comp choice you would just presume that they would get a grammar which is within reasonable travelling distance.

I know a boy in a village just north of Sevenoaks that got a Folkestone grammar, and to be honest the local comp would not be an option.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 12:18 pm 
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Medwaymum,

There are no local grammars for Sevenoaks. The closest is Judd, which is super-selective then Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar or Wilmington Boys grammar which are both 10-15 miles away.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:11 pm 
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Location: Medway & Kent
Ok well its difficult to say: I suppose if I didn't think my child would get into a super selective or an out of catchment, I may have put an alternative choice however maybe the parents thought they had a better chance, or would even get into one of these schools in appeal.
I suppose hind sight is a wonderful thing and all that. I am sympathetic to the family.
My own situation is very different, I am in the catchment area for at least one gs so if ds passes (fingers crossed) I don't think I will put an alternative choice, but then who knows if it will be oversubscribed that year?
Food for thought actually. :?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 6:05 pm 
Just out of interest Wardie, which comp. were you thinking of? I wasn't aware that Sevenoaks (which is within the Kent 11+ scheme of education) was in catchment for any comprehensives.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:05 pm 
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The only boy's school in Sevenoaks is Wilderness which is a very poorly performing secondary modern. There are three grammars in the area: Judd and Skinners, where entrance is by top marks irrespective of distance, and Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar where admission is by distance. Parts of Sevenoaks are up to 15 miles from TWBG. You need to be within 2 miles of the school to get a place.

The problem is the flood of children coming into Kent from Bromley, Bexley and Sussex. I've heard of children coming from Brighton to Judd, a round trip of up to 120 miles a day. The result is dozen and dozens of local 11 year old children being forced into daily commutes of 100 miles a day plus. Just one local school, Amherst, has 16 children in this position! All for a couple of marks in the 11+. The situation is insane.

The affected children are in a state of shock. Parents are up in arms, headmasters are screaming blue murder and a major push is on from the schools and parents to impose a sensible catchment area/distance criteria on the schools - like just about every other school in the country!


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:20 am 
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Marymay, I agree with your points but I don't think your description of the TW Boys Grammar School "catchment area" is entirely accurate. It sounds more like a description of the 2 mile "catchment" of TWGGS (the girls' grammar school). TWBGS will usually take kids from Sevenoaks and about half of the years its "catchment" will extend to the villages north of Sevenoaks (eg Otford, Kemsing, Seal). I certainly know at least one Sevenoaks boy who got into TWBGS this year but I have also heard that none of the boys from Kemsing who passed the 11+ got into TWBGS and they were offered Maidstone or Folkestone(!) instead.

To be more accurate with the phraseology than I was above, it should be said that the "catchment area" for these two TWells grammar schools is in fact very large (the whole of the selective scheme of education for West Kent) but the importance of geography in their case is that they use distance from the school as their main oversubscription criterion. So when they are oversubscribed, as they always are, then the kids living closest will get the places. The same is true for Weald of Kent girls school, with the wrinkle that Weald has preferred areas that effectively prioritise Sevenoaks area ahead of Tunbridge Wells area, even though Tunbridge Wells is closer to the school. The logic behind this, which is quite sensible IMO, is that there is no girls grammar school in Sevenoaks and there is one in Tunbridge Wells, so the girls from Sevenoaks area should be given priority for Weald of Kent places over the girls from T.Wells. Unfortunately this year there were obviously so many successful 11+ girls applying to Weald that the geographic limit was drawn at Sevenoaks, with the result that almost all of the girls from villages just north of Sevenoaks were offered grammar school places at schools not on their forms, like Wilmington, unless they got high enough scores for TOGS.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2009 3:37 pm 
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Thanks for the clarification. I know of boys in central Sevenoaks, just north of the station, who were offered Sittingbourne. Where in Sevenoaks did this boy live?

The Sevenoaks Chronicle is going heavily into the issue http://www.thisiskent.co.uk/westkent/Grammar-lottery-victim-100-mile-round-trip-school/article-763959-detail/article.html and will be running a special on the fiasco next week.


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