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PostPosted: Tue Sep 29, 2020 7:19 pm 
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Today, 29 September, is the final day for responding to the KCC (public notice) consultation on Tunbridge Wells Grammar School for Boys opening an annexe in Sevenoaks, adjacent to the Weald of Kent annexe.

The campaign for Sevenoaks boys' local grammar provision has gone on for so many years. It's too late for my son (now at TWGSB, commuting every day) but I would love to see a local provision for next year's cohort, especially with the school commute to Tunbridge Wells and elsewhere being so fraught in Covid times.

I had thought the consultation process over, and recall responding to an earlier one, but it looks as if this isn't a done deal yet, so if you have time and are interested, please send an email response to school.consultations@kent.gov.uk


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:25 pm 
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Location: Surrey
For all practical purposes, these annexes are new schools. Govt should lift the ban on formation of new grammar schools, under free schools regulations.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2020 10:31 am 
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I agree that a wholly new school would be better, but time is of the essence, with additional selective places for boys needed for 2021.

The annexe has now had final approval from KCC. TWGSB parents and carers received a letter from the Chair of Governors this morning confirming 90 Year 7 places in Sevenoaks from September 2021.

Good luck to local families hoping for a place there following the Kent Test yesterday.

Importantly, staff turnover at TWGSB, which seems to have resulted from new senior leaders (head teacher and two deputies) seeking to raise standards, seems to have settled. It remains to be seen whether KS4 and 5 results will demonstrate improvement once a more normal school year and exam regime return post-Covid crisis (or in the "new normal" environment, whatever that becomes), but I'm happy with the quality of teaching my DS has received in Year 10 and so far in Year 11 after far too many supply teachers in Year 9.

I also don't think the school could have done much more to support DS and his peers during lockdown and the continuing difficulties these past months, and we are happy for him to continue there in the sixth form - as he is adament he wishes to do.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:17 am 
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How will TWGSB calculate the catchment for next year and who will attend the main school vs annexe? Will they consider annexe as a separate entity with its own catchment area?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 8:40 am 
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Think they will have to do the same as Weald, which already has an annex on the site, and continue to calculate distance from their main site.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:58 pm 
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I've just checked the school website and they have already posted the admission policy for next year. Re: Sevenoaks, it reads:

Quote:
If you wish your son to be considered for a place at TWGSB you will need to name us as a preference on your Secondary Common Application Form (SCAF). You can name TWGSB only once, and you are not expressing a preference for either the Tunbridge Wells or the Sevenoaks site at this stage. Even with the additional capacity at the Annexe in Sevenoaks, we remain one school and parents are unable to specify which site they would prefer.

We will rank all successful applicants of the Kent Test who name us as a preference and who have been offered a place against our Oversubscription Criteria. KCC will offer us 300 pupils for National Offer Day and at that point we will allocate places by distance to either the main Tunbridge Wells or the Sevenoaks site. Where it is possible we will then offer students the nearest site to their home address. We will only allocate site places once we have the list of boys to whom we are going to offer a place.


If you want to look at the admission policy in full, Admissions can be found on the "About us" sub-menu on the school website.

I imagine KCC had some input into the policy. The current council leader represents North Sevenoaks and Darent Valley. Boys in that constituency have long been disadvantaged with Dartford Boys closer but super-selective and having to travel long distances to other schools, so the sift by distance to the TWGSB main site or annexe will be welcome for North Sennockians.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:26 pm 
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That's interesting. It's not really clear from that what the criterion is that selects the 300 though. Once they've been offered 300 by the council, they then allocate places at one site or the other by distance?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:32 pm 
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Found it, the oversubscription criteria are clear that it's distance to the TW site that counts for getting in the 300. But there are 90 extra places and TWGSB is already coming out to Orpington with just its current 210.


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