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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 1:41 pm 
Hi does anyone know the current situation regarding the proposal to build a new 8 form entry school on the North Kingston Centre site squeezed in between Tiffin Girls' and Fernhill Primary? If it goes ahead there will be a large number of school kids in a relatively small area Tiffin 840, Fernhill 720 & new school 1,680! Plus the disruption of building works.......


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 3:11 pm 
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It got approved (and remained approved even after the General Election which was expected to perhaps change things). It is due to open in 2015 with 240 pupils per year group starting with just a Year 7 class and filling up naturally over the next 5-7 years (so not at full capacity until 2020 or 2022 depending on 6th form arrangements.)

I am no good at links but, if it works, here are the details from when it was approved: http://www.kingston.gov.uk/stp526_kingston_comp.pdf
and the latest news in local paper: http://www.surreycomet.co.uk/education/ ... ol_signed/

There's no doubt it is controversial in terms of the site and size but a North Kingston school is desperately needed. There just aren't enough places and children living there find themselves in a catchment area black hole. Their closest school is Tiffins but Tiffins only takes about 30% of its pupils from the local area, so literally just a handful of children, and then all the other schools are either Richmond Borough linked ones with rules about feeder schools designed to keep Richmond Schools only for Richmond children or are geographically close but not close enough to gain a place eg Coombe Girls which isn't far away but has a teeny catchment area in practice.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 4:45 pm 
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Last edited by suzanne on Wed Nov 07, 2012 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:40 pm 
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You are right suzanne - the % of local children certainly goes down every year (as the numbers applying from further afield increases every year) and I think 30% was the figure quoted when the new school was first petitioned for several years ago.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 2:14 pm 
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That only 7 out of 121 girls at Tiffin are from the local area, is of course an absolute disgrace. It's the same as in Sutton - live in where-ever, tutor your kid up to the eyeballs in Maths & VR to get in, have her travel an hour each way (or rather, drive her in yourself & cause chaos for local residents) then panic when she's not doing all that well in English when GCSE comes along, so get her a private tutor....

Meanwhile girls in Kingston who ought to be at Tiffin, and girls in Sutton who ought to be at Nonsuch, are having to travel miles....please don't tell me that these schools must attract 'the best' whereever they come from, because they don't - only those best suited to pass the exams, which don't include English at the moment.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 3:42 pm 
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I do agree huntlie

I totally understand the point of view which says bright girls who live an easy commuting distance away deserve the opportunity of a Grammar School education.
But when you get to the stage where 300 or 400 girls pass the exam with only 120 places up for grabs, selection procedures based on scores alone start to fall down.

For example nobody will ever convince me that a girl scoring 234 who lives right next door to Tiffin is in any way academically inferior to a girl living in North London who scores 236. Yet 2 points can easily be the deciding factor in the last places offered.

Where selection separates the “clever” girls (who would benefit from Grammar school) from those less able and less likely to get gain from the opportunity, the 11+ is a valuable tool.
This is no longer how it works in practice though. The standard of those passing the exam is so high that the process has ceased its function of separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak, and instead it is being used to try to distinguish, in a very blunt fashion, between 300+ equally exceptional girls all of whom deserve a place.

And where you have 300 girls with next to nothing to separate them in terms of ability then I do think other factors should come into it so that a girl on a score of 236 living 20 miles away does not necessarily get a place over a girl living in Kingston on a score of 234. The notion that either girl is cleverer than the other is ridiculous and therefore the benefit of attending a local school should be a factor.
Nonsuch does now test on English and Wilsons has adopted a distance criteria this year (scores are banded and the last band admitted is prioritised based on address. All other bands are admitted strictly in order of score, it is just the last band where living near the school benefits a candidate). I think this is a step in the right direction or at least a fair compromise.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 5:54 pm 
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Loopy Lou, you have put into words perfectly what the whole problem is.
The balance needs to be redressed, and good for Wilson's for making a start.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Yes, brilliant summary Loopy Lou. Doesn't Wallington also have a similar 'distance' thing for the last band? I stand to be corrected though!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:27 am 
That's interesting. How did Wilsons / Nonsuch manage to get some local catchment? Does The Greenwich judgement affect this?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2011 12:03 pm 
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From the Wilson's website:-
After taking the test, boys’ papers are marked and their scores are standardised and combined to give their total score. They are then placed in rank order. Given the narrow range of ability from which our pupils will come, many pupils in fact will have the same mark, so boys are placed in bands which may be made of boys who have scored very similar marks. Thus boys with scores of 188-186 may be in the first band, boys with scores 185-183 in the next band and so on. We anticipate that we will offer places from approximately 10 bands with each band generating approximately 10% of the places allocated. For the first 9 bands, all boys within the band will be offered places. For the final band however, we won’t be able to offer places to all boys in the band, so within this final band only we offer places first to boys who live within the London Borough of Sutton and prioritise these according to the distance of their home from the front door of the school.

Both Wallington Girls & Nonsuch operate a 'catchment area'. The catchment is a radius of 5.25km from the front door of each school, which just happens to be exactly the distance they are from each other. The first 80 places are allocated according to rank order. After that you need to be in catchment to get a place.


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