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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:30 am 
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Skinners' was a potential option for our son for the 2020 intake, but I've just heard from a friend who said that following 5 appeals upheld for 2019, each class will now accommodate 33 boys! I'm quite shocked. This seems so many pupils to now be squeezed into a town centre site that is already full to bursting. Will this continue into 2020 and beyond now a precedent has been set? I know they have building work in progress, but thought this was a sixth form centre and library, rather than extra classrooms. Is 33 pupils per class now 'normal' for grammar schools in Kent? We are also considering Cranbrook, TWGSB and Judd, so I'd be interested to hear if anyone knows of maximum class sizes at these schools too please. What are other people's views on class sizes this big, anyone's child in one already?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 8:58 am 
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I guess that Skinners' can illegally off-roll any surplus pupils though should they need to cull numbers! :shock:
Link to blog removed. See forum rules - moderator.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:21 am 
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Location: Essex
There is still a way to go before September for people to move away / get late indie places / 'remember' that they actually already have a place at an indie as well and Oops! Silly me, how could I possibly have forgotten to decline the state school place I had no intention of my DS taking up? etc, that is, for class size to drop back down to whatever it should be by natural wastage.

It may or may not serve to set a precedent - each appeal is a fresh combination of circumstances. The school may put up a better case at appeal next year (some schools are so good at shooting themselves in the foot at appeals that one wonders if they do it deliberately) / the IAP may at least at a majority vote be more sympathetic to the school, appellants may present less persuasive case for academic ability / prejudice etc.

One thing is definite, though - if the school is now 5 over PAN, 6 places will have to be declined before another place is offered from the waiting list.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 10:56 am 
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Just to add that I am not sure why you would be worried about 33 in a class anyway - class size has not been proven to have a major affect on pupil's attainment....and, to be absolutely frank, 33 is not huge, grammar school or not.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:06 am 
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kenyancowgirl wrote:
Just to add that I am not sure why you would be worried about 33 in a class anyway - class size has not been proven to have a major affect on pupil's attainment....and, to be absolutely frank, 33 is not huge, grammar school or not.


33 is big. But also I think my comments were more specific to Skinners' in terms of it already being a small town centre site with little room for additional students. Where do they draw the line - 35 pupils per class? 40 per class? The worry is that it creeps higher and higher each year. I personally wouldn't want my child to be in a class this big. Social space, eating space, library space and classroom space are all going to become increasingly cramped - not to mention the ability of each teacher to cope?


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 11:16 am 
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All that would have formed part of the school's case that admitting any appeals would be a disadvantage - obviously the appeals panel felt differently. If another year is belwo PAN for example, the total space available in the school may not be impacted one jot by this year having a few extra - so the social space/eating space argument you give is probably not impacted according to the panel.

I know you don't want to believe me but 33 is not big. You may not like it, but a total of 30 is only restricted in Primary - after that it is as many as the school can accomodate - and many schools do accomodate more than that. A good teacher will be able to cope with that number - unless you have concerns about the quality of teaching? Unless the school decide to permanently alter PAN then the numbers will only creep higher if the school appeal case is rubbish (which is unlikely) and, ironically - if they remain over PAN in this year, the school argument about prejudice to space becomes stronger. But as TM points out, if they are over PAN now following appeals, no further places will be offered from the wait list until they are back on PAN again.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 2:25 pm 
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AnniePH wrote:
kenyancowgirl wrote:
Just to add that I am not sure why you would be worried about 33 in a class anyway - class size has not been proven to have a major affect on pupil's attainment....and, to be absolutely frank, 33 is not huge, grammar school or not.


33 is big. But also I think my comments were more specific to Skinners' in terms of it already being a small town centre site with little room for additional students. Where do they draw the line - 35 pupils per class? 40 per class? The worry is that it creeps higher and higher each year. I personally wouldn't want my child to be in a class this big. Social space, eating space, library space and classroom space are all going to become increasingly cramped - not to mention the ability of each teacher to cope?


To be honest going from 32 to 33 in a class as a result of appeals is not a big difference. My younger son is still at the school and his year group was the first that went from a 4 form intake to a 5 form intake thus putting an additional 30+ plus boys into a year group in one fell swoop. I was concerned but any concerns I had were completely unfounded and the school just carried on in the way we were used to. That year group are now in yr12 so the whole school is now 5 form entry. I have never had any complaints from either of my DS about a lack of resources, teaching issues or being cramped.

As a Skinners' parent I would say not to worry, the bricks and mortar aren't what make a school.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 4:17 pm 
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They're all 31 or 32 classes in Yr 7 at present; I think that works fine. They do plan to keep increasing the PAN year on year, so I'm not sure at what point they'll have to add a sixth class. Think the new block has new English classrooms as well as a library, so that will increase space.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2019 5:13 pm 
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Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 8:40 pm
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OP,
I am sure that if you were appealing for a place for your child in the school, you would have been really happy to have a place even if there were 33 in a class.
Why are you worrying about the population in a town centre?
Look at Central London, millions of people and everyone is happy.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:53 am 
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AnniePH wrote:
I guess that Skinners' can illegally off-roll any surplus pupils though should they need to cull numbers! :shock:
Link to blog removed. See forum rules - moderator.


Apologies, didn't know we couldn't link to other sites. It's on Kent Advice if anyone wants a read. Interesting stuff.


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