Page 1


1. CONTENTS 2.

3.

FOREWORD...................................................................................................................................................6 2.1

Sevenoaks .............................................................................................................................................6

2.2

Secondary Schools - History .................................................................................................................8

2.3

Education Landscape 2012 ...................................................................................................................9

2.4

Legislative Changes.............................................................................................................................11

2.5

Purpose ...............................................................................................................................................11

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS...............................................................................................................................12 3.1

Steering Committee............................................................................................................................12

3.2

Forum Members .................................................................................................................................12

3.3

Funding ...............................................................................................................................................12

3.4

Educational Organisations ..................................................................................................................12

3.5

ABBREVIATIONS ..................................................................................................................................12

4.

INTRODUCTION ..........................................................................................................................................13

5.

PROCESS .....................................................................................................................................................14 5.1

Outline ................................................................................................................................................14

5.2

Launch and Creating Awareness ........................................................................................................14

5.3

Data Collection and Consultation .......................................................................................................14

5.3.1

Publicly Available Data ...............................................................................................................14

5.3.2

Likes, Dislikes and Wants ............................................................................................................14

5.3.3

Household Survey .......................................................................................................................15

5.4

5.4.1

Data Entry ...................................................................................................................................15

5.4.2

Analysis .......................................................................................................................................15

5.4.3

Report Writing ............................................................................................................................15

5.4.4

Feedback .....................................................................................................................................15

5.5

6.

Analysis and Feedback ........................................................................................................................15

Report Presentation ...........................................................................................................................16

5.5.1

Summary Proposals ....................................................................................................................16

5.5.2

Full and Detailed Report .............................................................................................................16

SUMMARY FINDINGS ..................................................................................................................................17 6.1

Who Responded? ...............................................................................................................................17

6.1.1

Household Profiles......................................................................................................................17

6.1.2

Population Segments ..................................................................................................................19

6.1.3

Children reflected - by school Year.............................................................................................20

6.1.4

Religion of Children ....................................................................................................................21

6.1.5

Why people come to Sevenoaks?...............................................................................................22


6.1.6

Length of time spent in Sevenoaks.............................................................................................23

6.1.7

Percentage at First Choice School ..............................................................................................24

6.1.8

Geographical Spread of Responses ............................................................................................25

6.2

6.2.1

Top factors affecting Secondary School Choice .........................................................................27

6.2.2

Choice of School For Children Not Deemed Selective ................................................................29

6.2.3

Choice of School For Children Deemed Selective .......................................................................30

6.2.4

Choice of School For Children With Top Marks ..........................................................................31

6.2.5

Views on the Selective System ...................................................................................................32

6.2.6

Only Selective Schools Can Deliver Results For Bright Children .................................................33

6.2.7

Thoughts About Knole Academy ................................................................................................34

6.3

New Provision .....................................................................................................................................37

6.3.1

Where Should New Places Be Created? .....................................................................................37

6.3.2

Children Not Deemed Selective - Impact of New Provision .......................................................39

6.3.3

Children Deemed Selective - Impact of New Provision ..............................................................40

6.3.4

Children With Top Marks In 11+ - Impact of New Provision ......................................................41

6.3.5

There Should Be a Faith School In Sevenoaks ............................................................................42

6.3.6

If Neither Proposal is Successful - What is the Alternative? ......................................................43

6.3.7

What alternatives would need to exist vs. views on the Selective System ................................47

6.3.8

What subjects does a school need to offer? ..............................................................................48

6.3.9

What Subjects Does a School Need to Offer at A Level? ............................................................50

6.4

Facilities ..............................................................................................................................................51

6.4.1

Use of Wildernesse .....................................................................................................................51

6.4.2

Sports Facilities ...........................................................................................................................53

6.5

Transport ............................................................................................................................................54

6.5.1

Reasonable Travelling Time ........................................................................................................54

6.5.2

Actual Travelling Time ................................................................................................................55

6.5.3

Actual Versus Reasonable Travelling Time .................................................................................56

6.6

7.

Existing Provision ................................................................................................................................27

11+ (Kent Test) ...................................................................................................................................57

6.6.1

Participation and success in the 11+ ..........................................................................................57

6.6.2

11+ Preparation Methods...........................................................................................................58

APPENDICES ................................................................................................................................................60 7.1

Steering Committee............................................................................................................................60

7.1.1

Permanent Members & Major Contributors ..............................................................................60

7.1.2

Other Contributors .....................................................................................................................60

7.2

Forum Members .................................................................................................................................60


7.3

Educational Organisations ..................................................................................................................61

7.4

Full List of Subjects Required at GCSE ................................................................................................63

7.5

Full List of Subjects Required at A Level .............................................................................................64

7.6

Full List Of Responses To Question On Sport Facilities ......................................................................65

7.7

List of State Primary Schools in the “Sevenoaks Area” ......................................................................66


2. FOREWORD This document is the result of a project to understand more about the views of residents in the Sevenoaks area about secondary education provision for both now and in the future. Based upon that knowledge, we will lay before the community recommendations for the future, which are designed to capture the desires of the community.

2.1 Sevenoaks Sevenoaks originally started life as a hospice and place of safety for pilgrims travelling along the two main highways from London and Dartford which merged in this area and continued south across the weald to the coast. Its name comes from the Saxon word Seouenaca, which means seven oak trees and was given to the shelter for the travellers in 800AD. This building became a church in 1114AD and was dedicated to St Nicholas. All of the surrounding area belonged to the Archbishop of Canterbury and was part of the Manor of Otford. There is very little written about Sevenoaks before the 13th century as its neighbour the village of Otford was the better known of the two places and it was this village that is mentioned in the Domesday Book. Some eighty years after the dedication of St Nicholas Church Sevenoaks was no longer part of the manor of Otford but was a manor in its own right because of its success as a market town. Sevenoaks became part of the modern communications network when one of the earlier turnpikes was opened in the 18th century; the railway was relatively late in reaching it. The population was quite small until the arrival of the railway in 1885, since when it has become an ever larger community. The majority of the population is middle-aged or elderly with only 19 % of residents under 18 years of age. 80% of the houses are owner-occupied. Crime rates are very low, with speeding vehicles being the major complaint. The 2001 Census counts approximately 18,588 residents within the Sevenoaks civil parish authority, compared to the 1801 town population of 2,600. The built-up area of the town has a population of about 28,000. Sevenoaks is governed by a town council. The town is divided into six wards, with sixteen councillors in total. The wards are named Kippington, Northern, St John’s, Town, Wildernesse and Eastern. The offices of Sevenoaks District Council are located in the town. Kent County Council has responsibility for education services in the area.


This document uses the term ‘Sevenoaks Area’. This area is represented by the pink shaded sections on the map below. This is a subset of Sevenoaks District (represented by the entire map shown). The pink area, plus the four white areas shown below it are known collectively as the “Sevenoaks South” area for educational planning purposes. The focus on the pink area is due mainly to the geographies involved. The white areas at the bottom of the map are located far closer to T. Wells and Tonbridge than they are Sevenoaks, and changes within the Sevenoaks Area services are unlikely to have a huge impact for these children. A list of the state primary schools that reside in this area can be found at Appendix 7.7


2.2 Secondary Schools - History Sevenoaks School, at the south end of High Street, is the third oldest non-denominational school in England. It was founded by William Sevenoke in 1432. Sevenoke, a foundling, had been brought up in the town. In later life he became a merchant and served as alderman, sheriff and mayor of London. Founding the school and adjacent almshouses was his thanks to the town. In 1560 it was granted letters patent by Queen Elizabeth I and became known as 'Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School'. It was "for the education of boys and youths in grammar and learning". In 1884 the governors appointed James Birkett as headmaster. It was Birkett's vision to elevate the school's status to that of a First Grade Classical School. He started this revolution, reducing the number of free places to the townsfolk and expanding boarding. When he resigned in the 1890s the school had over 100 boys. Today almost 1,000 day pupils and boarders attend, ranging in age from 11 to 18 years. There are approximately equal numbers of boys and girls. In 1944 the Education Act resulted in the establishment of grammar, secondary modern and technical schools. Those boys that didn’t pass the 11-plus would attend The Wildernesse School, as a new building on farmland in Seal Hollow was called. For girls it was a move into a revamped, restored old mansion called Hatton in Bradbourne Road. On September 19, 1950, the Wildernesse School for Boys and the Hatton School for Girls opened. "A red letter day for Sevenoaks," said the Chronicle. "The town has become a paradise for learning". The respective head teachers were Fred Streeter, who came from Hawes Downe School and Elsie Lunden from Kingston-on-Thames. They were both 46 and had a few years' experience of secondary modern teaching. Hatton School for Girls subsequently became The Bradbourne School and moved into new premises on the Bradbourne Vale Road. In 2010 Wildernesse School and The Bradbourne were both closed and the co-educational Knole Academy opened in September 2010. Knole Academy is a sponsored academy with Sevenoaks School as one its sponsors, Mary Boyle is the Principal. Knole Academy operates predominantly from the Bradbourne Vale Road site, and an extension to the site has planning consent and is planned to complete in 2014. At that point it is widely anticipated that its use of the site of the former Wildernesse school will cease, leaving this site available for a new use. At date of publish, the Wildernesse site is the preferred location for both a proposed satellite of a Grammar school sponsored by the Valley & Invicta Academies Trust (V.I.A.T) and a new Free School – Trinity School.


2.3 Education Landscape 2012 KCC Data from the January 2012 census shows just how many children are leaving the Sevenoaks area to attend Secondary school.

The chart above shows the number of children in school years 7-11 who reside in the Sevenoaks area vs. the type of secondary school attended and where this is located. [Data provided by KCC]

The chart above shows the number of children in school years 7-11 who reside in the Sevenoaks area vs. the location of the secondary school they attend. [Data provided by KCC]

In 2012 almost three quarters (74%) of 7-11 year olds are travelling outside of the area to secondary schools. For catchment driven schools, the area of these schools presently extends to Sevenoaks. Forecast increases in population demonstrate that this may not be the case for much longer, and in a few years’ time children in the Sevenoaks area may be pushed out of the catchment for schools, which traditionally have taken high numbers of Sevenoaks students.


As early as 2014 the combined area of Tonbridge, T. Wells and Sevenoaks is expecting to see an additional 40 children, rising to an additional 400 children by 2015. With such increases in population it is almost certain that Sevenoaks children will no longer be within the catchment of schools in T. Wells and Tonbridge. Knole Academy has capacity for 240 pupils per year, with nearly 500 leaving primary schools within the area each year, and population growth set to increase this, it will not be able to accommodate all children within the Sevenoaks area.


2.4 Legislative Changes 2010/11 saw a number of changes within the legislation affecting education services. Michael Gove as Secretary of State for Education in the Coalition Government quickly passed legislation that has transformed the educational landscape. Schools were incentivised to convert to Academy status – thereby being outside of local authority control. Academy status provides certain freedoms to an Academy, and financial incentives were the reason why many converted initially. Today 50% of the country’s secondary schools have converted to Academy status. This makes place planning for local authorities much more difficult as they no longer control these schools. The Free School programme, enlarged dramatically by the present Government has permitted local parents in conjunction with professionals to create new schools, essentially as Academies and outside of the local authority’s control. The Sevenoaks Christian Free School (Trinity School Sevenoaks) made an application under the Free School programme and in July 2012 was one of 102 schools that were passed to pre-opening – the phase during which they need to do all the necessary preparation prior to signing a funding agreement. Changes to the Admissions Code which came into effect in January 2012 have given greater freedoms to good schools to enlarge without the need for consultation. Academies in particular are able to expand (within the limits of their buildings).

2.5 Purpose It is against this context that a group of parents formed Sevenoaks Action for Community Education (ACE) in the Autumn of 2011. The intention of the group was to undertake a survey of parents to help inform decisions being made on educational services, in particular with a desire to ensure that Sevenoaks has “sufficient secondary school places to meet the needs of the community”.


3. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Throughout the project, many people, all volunteers, have been involved in a variety of ways, and the activities they have performed should be acknowledged. The community of Sevenoaks is indebted to all those who have given their time willingly, and with enthusiasm, to carry out the work involved in the project and the production of this report and recommendations.

3.1 Steering Committee The project has been managed overall by a Steering Committee. The membership of this has changed a little over the period, and there are 3 people who have shouldered the majority of the work. The details can be seen in 7.1 Steering Committee

3.2 Forum Members In addition to the above, there were a number of people who offered help of a more general nature. When called upon to do so from time to time, they helped write copy, delivered leaflets and surveys to schools and nurseries and completed prototypes of the survey to mention just some of the tasks. Their contribution is much appreciated and they are named in 7.2 Forum Members

3.3 Funding The project has benefited from funding primarily in the form of £5,922 from the Big Lottery as well as smaller donations from individual members. Without this support the project would not have been possible. In total £1,966 was spent with £3,956 being returned to the Big Lottery.

3.4 Educational Organisations The survey was distributed heavily via educational organisations across the district. These included preschools, nurseries, primary and secondary schools. Without their support the number of completed surveys would have been far fewer. A list of those who supported this project can be found in 7.3 Educational Organisations

3.5 ABBREVIATIONS The following abbreviations and acronyms are used throughout this report. ACE

Sevenoaks Action for Community Education

SDC

Sevenoaks District Council

KCC

Kent County Council


4. INTRODUCTION ACE was formed in Autumn 2011 against a backdrop of changes in legislation, a potentially available secondary school site and the expansion of the Free School programme. Discussion between individual parents led to the formation of ACE. A Constitution was drawn up and agreed in November 2011. The group came to the attention of Michael Fallon MP and in December 2011 members were asked to schedule an appointment with him at a clinic at which he outlined future issues relating to population growth and the potential impact on children from the Sevenoaks area. This highlighted a projected shortfall of around 180 secondary school places by 2017/18. The group drafted a consultation announcement which was sent via email to all primary schools (state & independent) in the Sevenoaks Area and the Knole Academy asking them to share it with the families at their school. The group came to the attention of Cllr Mike Whiting, minister for Education & Learning at KCC who attended a meeting with members in December 2011. Following this meeting a splinter group left ACE and formed the Sevenoaks Grammar Campaign. Approaches were made to Councillors from Kent County Council, Sevenoaks District Council and the Sevenoaks Town Council to invite them to engage with us and participate. Cllr Anna Firth from Sevenoaks District Council joined the steering committee for a while as a link with SDC who has no jurisdiction over educational matters.


5. PROCESS 5.1 Outline The activity carried out can be divided into 4 main phases: 

Launch and Creating awareness

Data Collection and Consultation

Analysis and Feedback

Report Presentation

5.2 Launch and Creating Awareness At the initial meetings it was decided that a major task would be to engage with the community, particularly parents of children of primary school age and under. Perhaps it would be better to state that the task would be to get the community to engage with ACE. It was therefore decided that a sustained marketing campaign would be necessary to ensure that as many members of the community as possible were aware of the existence of ACE, what it was, what it was not and what it was trying to achieve. Throughout the process various approaches were taken to try to “cover the ground”: 

An email/leaflet was sent to all primary schools asking them to forward to parents

Regular coverage has been achieved in the Sevenoaks Chronicle since inception

Radio and TV coverage has been achieved on BBC Radio Kent and BBC South East

A Sevenoaks ACE website was established

A Sevenoaks ACE Facebook page and twitter account were established with regular content created

A presentation was given to state primary school heads at one of their meetings

Meetings with various secondary school heads have taken place

A Likes, Dislikes and wants survey was run in conjunction with the Sevenoaks Chronicle

A competition for educational organisations was run to encourage response rates for the main survey.

5.3 Data Collection and Consultation This has taken several forms:

5.3.1 Publicly Available Data Principally, and on-going throughout the project, a significant amount of “desk” research was performed to establish a framework against which our own future researches could be compared. Data from KCC obtained via Freedom of Information (FOI) requests, along with data released and available via the KCC website and the 2001 census was assembled.

5.3.2 Likes, Dislikes and Wants In January and February 2012 we received 126 responses to a simple Likes, Dislikes and Wants survey, where residents were asked to state their 3 most important views of secondary education in these three different categories. Some did this by completing a short paper form published in the Sevenoaks Chronicle, and available at the Leisure Centres in Sevenoaks and Edenbridge. Others registered their thoughts via an online survey in Survey Monkey. As an “open ended” piece of data collection where residents could state, in free format, what they thought about these aspects, it was not particularly scientific, but it did highlight some perceptions of issues which were later investigated more thoroughly.


5.3.3 Household Survey The most significant piece of data collection was the development, distribution and collection of a comprehensive Household Survey. This took several months to compile and lay out. Inevitably when the requirements were initially put together, the result was a survey with many pages and too many questions. Much of the time taken to develop it was to decide what to keep in and what to take out. The result was a 12 page document allowing households to give their opinion and provide information relating to up to 5 children. Responses to this survey were received from 914 households. Advice was sought from a number of professionals who live in Sevenoaks and from KCC, who gave their input on a no fee basis. Eventually, in July 2012, the document was complete. Unfortunately the funding bid for the costs of printing and distributing the survey to each household was not successful, and so another distribution mechanism was required. This activity was crucial to success. An online version of the survey was created in Survey Monkey as well as 500 printed copies. 20,000 leaflets announcing the survey were printed, 15,000 distributed via Vine Magazine, the remainder distributed via schools, nurseries, pre-schools and some retail outlets in the area. Links to the survey were printed for two weeks running in the Sevenoaks Chronicle, and were promoted online at the website, on Twitter and on Facebook. The survey officially closed on the 15th July, although the online survey was left open until the analysis was started. In total 902 responses were received to the online survey and a further 12 paper copies were returned via schools, nurseries and pre-schools, a total of 914 responses.

5.4 Analysis and Feedback 5.4.1 Data Entry Because the vast majority of the surveys were completed online, and only 12 paper copies were received, the data entry was not a significant task. These 12 responses were keyed into Survey Monkey by members of the team.

5.4.2 Analysis The next step was to analyse what was now a huge volume of raw material. The open-ended questions were coded, and all the data was downloaded into a single database from which reports could be run to understand the numbers and create charts to display them.

5.4.3 Report Writing From August 2012 the Steering Committee set about creating the narrative to interpret the data provided from the survey.

5.4.4 Feedback Armed with the report, we will present the findings to a variety of Stakeholders, encourage their support and discuss with them ways to implement any recommendations that develop.


5.5 Report Presentation 5.5.1 Summary Proposals A summary document setting out the most important aspects of the findings and recommendations was delivered via schools, nurseries and pre-schools in June 2013, with coverage in the Sevenoaks Chronicle.

5.5.2 Full and Detailed Report This document is available on-line by going to www.sevenoaksace.org. Should anyone require a printed hard copy then this can be provided upon request at a price of ÂŁ5 each. This is to cover printing costs.


6. SUMMARY FINDINGS 6.1 Who Responded? The people with whom we really wanted to engage were the parents of children who were still in primary school, or who had not yet started school. Traditionally parents of children in Year 3 or below have not spent much time thinking about secondary schools. Once they realise the issues they face (when their children get to years 4, 5 and 6) it is too late to do anything that will change things for their own children. We needed to harness those with time to help influence change.

6.1.1 Household Profiles 866 (94.75%) of responses were from households with one or more children aged 18 or under in the household. 48 (5.25%) were from households with no children aged 18 or under in the household.

Q01 – Do you have any children under the age of 18? [914 responses]

We asked for the age and sex of people represented by the survey. Those who responded represent 2,769 individuals, of which: 

1,432 (51.7%) are aged 18 or under.

38 (1.4%) 19-24 year olds included in the responses were in households also occupied by people aged 34+ indicating that they are likely to be young adults, rather than the parents of the younger children represented.

Over the age of 25, 1,299 (46.9%) people are represented, with over half of these falling into the 34-45 age range.

The highest profile were, unsurprisingly those with primary school aged children (53% of children aged 18 or under), with a large number of pre-school aged children (32% of children aged 18 or under) and secondary school aged children being the minority (15% of children aged 18 or under)

34 (4.9%) were households with no children aged 18 or under


Q39 - Please enter the number of people in each age range who normally live in your household. [698 responses]

The survey data includes 38 single parent households and the average number of children aged 18 and under per household is 2.157


6.1.2 Population Segments 6.1.2.1 Knole Academy Connection Of the 866 respondents with children aged 18 or under, 77 (8%) of respondents had some form of connection with the Knole Academy. We have defined this as either: 

having a child at the school;

by listing it as one of the schools attended by their children for the school’s competition; or

the response came from the dedicated Knole Academy survey link.

None of the households without children had any connection with Knole Academy.

No of respondents, with children 18 and under with a connection with Knole [866 responses]


6.1.2.2 Independent School Sector Of the 866 respondents with children 127 (14%) had links to the Independent school sector. Either they have a child presently or previously at an Independent school, as detailed in the school’s competition question or the response was provided from the survey links for Combe Bank, St Michael’s Prep or The Granville School. Where respondents included a school from the list in the Independent sector, these respondents have been put in a segment “Independent Sector”. They may have or had one or more children in primary and/or secondary Independent schools.

No of respondents, with children 18 and under with a connection to the Independent school sector [866 responses]

6.1.3 Children reflected - by school Year

In which school year are the children reflected by this survey? Please indicate their school year. If your child is not yet at school, write the year they will start school [828 responses]


6.1.4 Religion of Children In light of the proposal to create a Free School with a religious character (Sevenoaks Christian Free School), respondents were asked to if their children had a religion. 829 respondents representing 1,738 children completed the question.

Q03 – does your child/do your children have a religion? [829 responses]

The chart shows the number of children reflected by the survey with their religions. [829 Responses]


6.1.5 Why people come to Sevenoaks? What do people like about Sevenoaks that makes them want to come and live here? Clearly with its transport links into London, there is no surprise that convenient commuting tops the list. The atmosphere/community is the next most significant reason and the excellent primary schools in the area are the reason why 23% of people moved to the area originally. A combination of responses, (Relatives live nearby, Born here, Came with family and married a resident or somebody from the area) account for a significant number of the total responses indicating that family connections are a very important reason why people move to and indeed remain in Sevenoaks. The existence of special educational facilities such as Dorton House, Valence School and the grammar school system are also reasons why people move to the Sevenoaks area.

Why did you come to the Sevenoaks area? Respondents could select multiple reasons. Free text responses have been coded and are included above. [691 responses]


6.1.6 Length of time spent in Sevenoaks More than half of the respondents have lived in the area for between 1 and 15 years, with the majority having lived here consecutively for between 6 and 10 years.

Q41 - How many consecutive years have you lived in the Sevenoaks area? [699 responses]

233 respondents indicated that one of the reasons for moving to the Sevenoaks area was due to schools. The majority were attracted to the primary schools. Those residents who have arrived within the last 15 years are coming for schools.

Q41 tabulated with Q42 for those who moved here for a school related reason [233 responses]


6.1.7 Percentage at First Choice School KCC’s target is to “increase the number of parents who get their first preference of school to above 85%” Delivering Bold Steps for Kent (KCC). At primary level more parents have managed to achieve their first choice school. At secondary level (excluding 6th Form) fewer than 82.5% of children represented achieved their first choice.

Q4 tabulated against Q2 Is your child currently at your first choice school? Which school stage based on school year [803 responses]

Of those who stated that they their primary school child was not at their first choice school, and eliminating those for whom the reason is that they had moved since starting, the primary schools that parents had unsuccessfully applied to are as follows:

Q5 – What was your first choice school (primary)?


The list of secondary schools to which applications had been unsuccessful is as follows:

Q5 – What was your first choice school (secondary)?

Some of those who indicated that their child had not got into their first choice school were those who had applied for a grammar school place and did not pass the 11+, or presumably did not secure high enough marks for the super-selective grammar schools.

6.1.8 Geographical Spread of Responses The target area was the Sevenoaks Area. Surveys were also distributed via primary schools and pre-schools in the Eynsford and Shoreham areas. Families at Knole Academy who live outside this area have also responded. Respondents were asked “Where does your household live?” and asked to provide a postcode. 544 respondents provided a complete postcode; from these responses it has been possible to map the responses to District Council Wards.

Where does your household live? Full postcode responses [544 responses]


The map below shows the geographical spread of responses, the darkest shaded areas received the highest responses, with the lightest areas the fewest.

Some respondents provided a partial postcode. Utilising the first 3 digits of the postcode from the above respondents plus those who provided a partial postcode, it has been possible to map a total of 684 responses to postcode areas. Again, the map shows the geographical spread of responses with the darkest shaded areas receiving the highest responses, with the lightest areas the fewest. Postcode areas are larger and so less accurate.

Where does your household live? Partial postcode responses [684 responses]


6.2 Existing Provision The secondary education landscape in Sevenoaks is changing rapidly. One of the ambitions of the survey was to gauge parental views over possible secondary school choices for their children. Shortly before the survey was distributed, Knole Academy launched a grammar stream targeting children that had passed the 11+ and this has been marketed significantly for the 2013 secondary school intake. Therefore already some of the responses may be out of date. Respondents were asked to indicate for each of their pre and primary school aged children, what school or type of school would be their first choice of secondary school. A subsequent question asked them what impact new provision might have on this response. In total 623 respondents answered at least one part of either the first or second of these questions. These respondents represent 1,147 pre and primary school aged children (years R-6 plus those who will start school in 2012 or later). The responses included 36 children in the segment “Links with Knole” and 171 children in the segment “Independent Sector”. Children who pass the 11+ are termed ‘Selective’ via the KCC secondary school application process.

6.2.1 Top factors affecting Secondary School Choice Respondents with children at secondary school, and in year 6, were asked to indicate from a long list, the top 5 reasons that affected their choice of secondary school. 183 respondents representing 280 children answered this question, in respect of their secondary and soon-to-be secondary school children. Some respondents provided more than 5 responses, and all have been included. The chart below shows the frequency in terms of the number of children for whom the factor was indicated.

[Q32 – Please select the 5 most important factors which influenced your choice of secondary school. 183 responses representing 280 children]


This data clearly shows that the 2 most important factors affecting a school’s popularity are the appearance and behaviour of existing students, and the quality of the head and teachers. The views of parents with children at the school and the distance from home are also strongly indicated. The religious ethos is the 9th least important factor. Given this data, it is particularly surprising how many people earlier in the survey, indicated that they would make the Christian Free School (Trinity School Sevenoaks) their first choice school, given that at the point of the survey there were no existing students, and no head teacher. The religious ethos of the school was one of the top 5 factors for only 22 of the 280 children, indicating clearly that other factors are more important when choosing schools. The popularity of the proposed Christian Free School is therefore more likely to be a reflection of a perceived shortage of alternatives, rather than a desire for school of religious character in itself. For 33 children, respondents indicated that the school they attend was the only relevant choice. For several sections of the population, there is no school choice. For non-religious children that are not deemed selective, catchment areas make it increasingly difficult for them to attend any school other than their nearest non-selective school. For boys who do not obtain marks that gain access to the superselectives, it is felt that there is only one choice of school, namely Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar.


6.2.2 Choice of School For Children Not Deemed Selective Respondents were asked what school choice they would make should their child/ren not take or not pass the 11+. Within the Independent sector 83% indicated they would choose a fee paying secondary school, compared with an overall response of 30%. Of those with a connection to Knole, 55% indicated they would send their children to Knole, compared to the overall response of 22.5%.

With the current mix of schools available which of the following are you most likely to put as 1st preference should your child not take/pass the 11+. Free text responses have been coded and included above. Invalid responses have been removed. Children up to and including year 6. [623 responses]

With the current mix of schools available which of the following are you most likely to put as 1st preference should your child not take/pass the 11+. Free text responses have been coded and included above. Invalid responses have been removed. Children up to and including year 6. [623 responses]


6.2.3 Choice of School For Children Deemed Selective Respondents were asked about school choices should their child pass the 11+. As some schools ‘superselect’ i.e. select children based on ranked 11+ scores, those grammar schools were excluded from the options to this question and included in the third scenario later.

With the current mix of schools available which of the following are you most likely to put as 1st preference should your child pass the 11+. Free text responses have been coded and included above. Invalid responses have been removed. Children up to and including year 6. [623 responses]

Respondents for nearly 79% of children indicated they would select one of the Ton/T. Wells grammar schools. A faith school would be selected for only 4% of children in this scenario (fewer from both the Knole and Independent segments), indicating that a grammar education for some prevails over personal faith. Whilst only 2% of children might be sent to Knole Academy with an 11+, the figure from those with links to the Knole is considerably higher, 30%, indicating those with strong links to the school have confidence in the school’s ability to deliver for these children. 17% of children with links to the Independent sector are likely to stay at fee paying schools, even with an 11+ pass.

With the current mix of schools available which of the following are you most likely to put as 1st preference should your child pass the 11+. Free text responses have been coded and included above. Invalid responses have been removed. Children up to and including year 6. [623 responses]


6.2.4 Choice of School For Children With Top Marks The 11+ test operated in Kent operates on a standardised scoring scale. Raw marks are converted to the standardised scores the top mark being 420 and any score over 360 being deemed ‘Selective’. For the children who took the test in September 2012 the range was extended at both the top and bottom to produce a highest score of 423. The results of the test are standardised to ensure that 21% of the population pass the test in any year, with another 4% accepted based on head-teacher appeals – taking the total to 25%. The number of grammar school places does not vary, so in a high birth-rate year, it is possible that 25% of a larger number generates more places than are possibly available in the grammar school system. Some schools award places based on the highest possible scores, irrespective of geography. Those that do this and are relevant to Sevenoaks include the closest boys’ grammar The Judd School along with The Skinners School in T. Wells (boys) and Tonbridge Grammar School (girls) Respondents were asked how having ‘top marks’ might affect their school choice. Given that for boys, there is only 1 grammar school that does not super-select, the sex of the children concerned, as far as is possible to identify has been shown, to see if this has affected school choice.

With the current mix of schools available which of the following are you most likely to put as 1st preference should your child obtain top marks in the 11+. Free text responses have been coded and included above. Invalid responses have been removed. Children up to and including year 6. [623 responses]

58% of children with top marks are likely to choose one of the three super-selective grammar schools. The % of boys being higher at 63%. Given the increase in birth rates and therefore as it may become increasingly difficult for Sevenoaks boys to secure places at Tunbridge Wells Boys Grammar, this may well increase in future years. Respondents from the Knole segment indicated that 25% of children would choose Knole over a superselective grammar school, which is a significant number and varies with the overall figure of just 1%

With the current mix of schools available which of the following are you most likely to put as 1st preference should your child obtain top marks in the 11+. Free text responses have been coded and included above. Invalid responses have been removed. Children up to and including year 6. [623 responses]


6.2.5 Views on the Selective System Much is made by local politicians of the fact that people in Kent like the selective education system. Given that many of the people who live in Sevenoaks have moved in relatively recently, we thought it would be interesting to see to what extent the community agrees with this assertion. 55% responded that they agreed with this statement (Agree, Strongly Agree).

Q10 “I like the selective system” [788 responses]

When looking at different population segments, for example those connected with Knole Academy the picture is far less clear, with opinion divided almost in thirds. Those from the Independent sector are strongly in favour of the selective system.

Q10 “I like the selective system” [75 responses from Knole, 120 responses from Independent Sector]


6.2.6 Only Selective Schools Can Deliver Results For Bright Children One of the arguments for selective education is that only grammar schools can really deliver good results for able children. The argument follows that by grouping these children together they can be pushed and motivated more successfully. We asked the community to what extent they agreed with this statement. More people disagreed with the statement than agreed with it.

Q10 “Only selective schools can deliver results for bright children” [788 responses]

Different sectors of the community hold different views. Those connected to independent schools were overwhelmingly in agreement with the statement, while those connected to Knole were overwhelmingly in disagreement with the statement.

Q10 “Only selective schools can deliver results for bright children” [75 responses from Knole, 120 responses from Independent sector]


6.2.7 Thoughts About Knole Academy Respondents were asked to what extent they agreed with 12 statements about Knole Academy. The statements were as follows: 1. My child(ren) will probably attend the Knole 2. The curriculum at the Knole is sufficiently academic 3. There is good visibility of how the school is developing 4. Knole children behave well within the school 5. Knole children behave well outside of the school 6. Knole is a good option for children that have not passed the 11+ 7. Knole is a good option for children that have passed the 11+ 8. The learning support facilities are of a high standard 9. Since becoming Knole Academy its reputation is improving 10. Knole caters well for science-orientated children 11. The proposed extension will benefit school & community 12. The range of courses for 6th form is adequate In a community where many people have not even stepped over the threshold of the Knole Academy (459 respondents indicated they had not visited the school), there are some strongly held views.

Q09 - To what extent do you agree with 12 statements; Strongly Agree, Tend to Agree, Neither Agree or Disagree, Tend to Disagree, Strongly Disagree and N/A or Don’t Know. 785 respondents answered at least one of the above questions. Some respondents did not respond to all statements


Responses to these questions varied considerably based on the respondent’s level of interaction with the school. For example, the responses below are from those who indicated they have a child at the school.

70 respondents indicated they have a child at the school

Nearly 50% of respondents with a child at the school felt it was a good option for children that have passed the 11+, compared to less than 10% of the overall responses. Nearly 70% of those with a child at the school felt that children behave well within school, compared to 10% of the overall responses. One would expect a high level of N/A or Don’t Know responses among those who have never visited the school. However this group had some very strong opinions about the school.

Q11 – Have you ever visited Knole Academy? [459 respondents responded No]


There is a stark contrast of opinion between those with children at Knole and those who don’t. It is entirely possible that the difference between the views of these respondents and those that have never visited the school are down to a lag in perception - with internal improvements not being recognised externally as quickly as they happen. In order to increase the number of local children attending the school, the challenge for the Knole is how to encourage the local community to increase their level of interaction with the school, well before they are faced with the difficult decision on which secondary school choices to make.


6.3 New Provision KCC has identified a future shortfall of 180 secondary school places for children from the Sevenoaks Area. This is in addition to the high numbers presently travelling long distances to school every day. So where and what type of school places should be created?

6.3.1 Where Should New Places Be Created? 748 people answered the question “Where do you think the extra 180 places should be created”. Respondents were asked to split the 180 places over 10 options. Some respondents chose to place all 180 places in a single school, others split these over up to 10 options. One respondent complained that they were unable to enter a negative number to signal reducing the size of an existing school.

Q08 – Where should 180 places be created? No of options selected by respondents [748 responses]


Almost 50% of respondents felt all 180 places should be within a single establishment. On average the split was between 1.7 establishments. In total the 748 respondents created 1,278 different data points. The breakdown of these by school choice is as follows:

Q08 – Where should 180 places be created? Most frequent responses [1,278 data points from 748 respondents]

Where respondents felt that all places should be in a single school the 365 responses were as follows:

Q08 Most frequent responses from those who only selected a single option [365 respondents]


The survey attempted to assess the impact of proposed new provision on existing school choices. It did this by asking respondents to indicate their most likely school choice before and after proposed new provision. Some respondents provided multiple options as choices rather “per child. Responses have therefore been taken as one per child, based on the 1st choice specified.

6.3.2 Children Not Deemed Selective - Impact of New Provision For children without an 11+, i.e. deemed not selective, the chart below shows the percentage of children that might attend different schools or types of schools, with existing provision and after the introduction of new provision. For children not deemed to be “selective”, the proposed new provision included increasing Knole by 60 places and the creation of the Christian Free School. The red highlight indicates a reduction in the number of children that would choose this option. Green highlights indicate an increase in the number of children that would choose this option, and yellow indicates no change. Overall the Christian Free School could expect to attract 34.6% of children with the majority of these coming from the state sector among families with no existing connection to Knole. The faith schools in Tunbridge Wells might expect a reduction in almost 80% of their Sevenoaks-based students, nearly all of which will be from the state sector.

Chart shows effect of Expanding Knole by 60 places and introduction of Christian Free School on children who do not pass the 11+ based on responses to both questions 12 & 13. A response to present provision and no response to future provision was taken to mean ‘no change’. No of children in sample shown in brackets next to headings

The impact in terms of number of children can be shown from the chart below, which highlight the top 7 options in terms of the greatest change in behaviour.

Chart above shows present and future school choices together with the positive or negative change and the number of children. The 7 options with the highest change are included. Based on responses to Questions 12 & 13


6.3.3 Children Deemed Selective - Impact of New Provision For children with an 11+ pass, i.e. deemed selective, a further option is available i.e. the Sevenoaks Grammar Annexe. In this scenario the Christian Free School might only hope to attract 10% of children, with the grammar annexe attracting nearly 65%. The impact of the grammar annexe is largely on the Tunbridge and Tunbridge Wells Grammar schools who might expect a reduction of 80% of their Sevenoaks students. There is also a small migration from fee paying schools to the grammar annexe. The faith schools in Tunbridge Wells continue to see a migration to both the Christian Free School and the Sevenoaks Grammar Annexe. Also of note, are the 30% of children with links to Knole Academy, whose parents would choose Knole Academy if their children had an 11+ pass, and who would not change that despite local grammar provision being available.

Chart shows effect of expanding Knole by 60 places and introduction of Christian Free School and Grammar Annexe on children who pass the 11+ based on responses to both questions 12 & 13. A response to present provision and no response to future provision was taken to mean ‘no change’. No of children in sample shown in brackets next to headings.

The chart below shows the number of children, rather than percentages. The small migration from fee paying schools is more clearly demonstrated, the percentage (in the above table) is high due to the small number of responses.

Chart above shows present and future students’ school choices together with the positive or negative change in the number of children. The 8 options with the highest change are included. Based on responses to Questions 12 & 13


6.3.4 Children With Top Marks In 11+ - Impact of New Provision Many commentators have speculated about whether those achieving top marks in the 11+ would choose a local grammar annexe over one of the super selective grammars in Tonbridge or Tunbridge Wells. With this in mind the survey asked parents to respond in this scenario. The responses indicate that parents would choose a local grammar annexe over a super selective if their child achieved top marks in the 11+, and would therefore be likely to succeed with an application to a super selective grammar. Of those children, responses indicate that over 55% which choose local annexe. Also of interest, are those with links to Knole Academy, who would still choose Knole Academy if their child achieved top marks in the 11+ despite the proposed new provision.

Chart shows effect of expanding Knole by 60 places and introduction of Christian Free School and Grammar Annexe on children who achieve top marks in the 11+ based on responses to both questions 12 & 13. A response to present provision and no response to future provision was taken to mean ‘no change’. No of children in sample shown in brackets next to headings.

The chart below shows the number of children and the impact of new provision. It clearly demonstrates that there would be very little movement to the Christian free school, and a huge movement away from both super selective and other grammar schools.

Chart above shows present and future student school choices, together with the positive or negative change in the number of children. The 8 options with the highest change are included. Based on responses to questions 12 & 13


6.3.5 There Should Be a Faith School In Sevenoaks This view does not vary wildly across the sectors – both those with links to Knole and without have a similar view. Slightly more responses from the Independent sector disagreed with this statement.

Q10 – There should be a faith school in Sevenoaks [788 responses]


6.3.6 If Neither Proposal is Successful - What is the Alternative? When the survey was conducted, a decision over the Christian Free School was awaited, and no formal plans for the Grammar Annexe had been published. Given that, to date, the community had not actually been presented with any other options, we presented a series of possible alternatives to see if any of them would be an acceptable alternative. Should neither of the proposed options succeed, what would have community support? 604 respondents answered the question “What kind of school would need to exist in Sevenoaks for you to consider making it your first choice?” This question was answered for multiple children. 1,186 children were represented. Some respondents selected more than one option, although the vast majority representing 772 children selected just one option. The options available were: 

Super-selective grammar annexe (may be possible even if a catchment grammar isn’t)

Comprehensive with a ‘Grammar Stream’ for children that have passed 11+

An “open to all” school with a grammar curriculum & ethos (no 11+ required)

All ability comprehensive school where children work with others of similar ability

Through school—a combined primary/secondary school aged 5—18

Another fee-paying school

An alternative Free School

An “open to all” school set up in partnership with an existing successful grammar school

The pie chart below shows the number of respondents, together with the number of options they would be prepared to consider as their 1st choice school. 772 indicated just one of the above options, whilst 24 respondents indicated that all 8 would be an option. In total, 1,978 data points were collected.

Q19 - what kind of school would need to exist in Sevenoaks for you to consider making it your first choice? No of acceptable alternatives listed by responses. [604 respondents, representing 1,186 children]

The top response as an alternative option was an annexe of a super selective grammar school. With 26% of respondents indicating this as one of their 1st preferences. Within certain sectors, i.e. the state sector and those from Knole the most popular option was a grammar ethos school.


Q19 – What type of school would have to exist for you to make it first choice? 1,186 children from 604 respondents.

Q19 - % of children for whom each type of school would be first choice in the absence of other options.

However, what is a “grammar ethos” school? Ian Bauckham, headmaster of Bennett Memorial School, attempts a definition in a recent blog post as follows: “Grammar schools can be excellent in the sense that they offer for example a traditional academic education, good teaching with highly qualified teachers, good discipline, smart uniforms, a good range of sport and musical activities, Latin, traditional separate sciences, several modern languages for all, traditions to bind the school together as a community, high aspirations for all and good progression on to good universities…. I think that everyone should have access to the kind of school I have just described.” Source: http://blog.bennett.kent.sch.uk

If we assume, that respondents have interpreted “grammar” to be similar to Ian’s definition, it is reasonable to believe that three of the above options are sufficiently similar that they could be considered together. The Grammar Stream, Grammar Ethos and Grammar Ethos Partnership are all essentially saying that respondents would like the good aspects of a grammar school, without the need for the selection test. Once combined the effect can be seen below. Nearly 60% of respondents indicated they would choose a school of this type as their 1st choice for their children. This figure is only impacted by those from the independent sector.


Q19 - % of children for whom each type of school would be the first choice, with three of the available options combined into the single line “Grammar Theme”

An explanation for this difference between responses from the Independent sector vs. the State sector may be found in some statistics collated and published by Peter Read on the KentAdvice.co.uk website. He has analysed the % of passes from Independent schools in West Kent vs. the rest of Kent and also the proportion of those obtaining the highest scores.

Source www.kentadvice.co.uk

Nationally, approximately 7% of pupils attend private schools, so the 7% figure above for the Rest of Kent is on par with the national average. Peter Read states: “As can be seen, this table underlines the powerful influence of private schools in West Kent, who secure over a quarter of all grammar school passes, against the rest of Kent where the proportion falls to less than 7%. I accept that private school children may be drawn from a wider geographical area than state school children, but see no reason why these results are not generally accurate. In this [context] West Kent refers solely to the Kent districts of Sevenoaks, Tonbridge and Tunbridge, and does not include North West Kent (Dartford and Gravesham).” The table below demonstrates the increased dominance of private education in West Kent on high scorers.

Source www.kentadvice.co.uk

“Here we can see that over one third of all children who score an aggregate of greater than 407 come from private schools, and over two thirds of all children who score over 407 from private schools are situated in West Kent. I believe that, with the majority of the private schools targeting success in the eleven plus, in a way that state schools are not allowed, this shows that many (not all) are highly successful in their aim.”


If we consider the responses from the 384 respondents, representing 772 children who only provided a single response to this question, the picture is consistent.

Q19 – Respondents that only selected one of the available options – [384 respondents, 772 children]

Q19 - % of children from respondents who selected only one of the available options [384 respondents, 772 children]

And again, combining the 3 “Grammar theme” options into one we are left with a similar outcome.

Q19 - % responses from those selecting just one option, and with 3 options combined into a single line “Grammar Theme” [384 respondents, 772 children]

The data shows that if neither of the two current options is successfully opened, there is considerable support for an alternative option, with a grammar ethos and curriculum, either forming part of an existing school, or as a stand-alone school, where a selection test is not required. This could be set up in conjunction with an existing successful grammar, although this does not appear to be essential from the above data.


6.3.7 What alternatives would need to exist vs. views on the Selective System When we look at the responses to the available options against respondents views on the selective system there are some clear and not altogether surprising patterns. Those who indicated they like the selective system were more likely to want a super selective and prefer it to any other option.

Q19 vs Q10 % of children for whom a school type would be first choice, based on their parent’s response to the statement “I like the selective system” [1186 children from 604 respondents]

If we take just those who indicated that they agree with the statement, “I like the selective system”, it is interesting to see that whilst an annexe of a Super Selective school has the highest response, the responses in favour of grammar style solutions (that do not involve an ability test) are also serious options.

Q19 responses from those who responded Agree or Strongly Agree to Q10 “I like the selective system” [1,978 children, 342 respondents]

And again, combining the 3 “Grammar theme” options into one, even among those who stated that they like the selective system we find that the 11+ test is not seen as the overriding factor.

Q19 responses from those who responded Agree or Strongly Agree to Q10 “I like the selective system” with three options combined as “Grammar Theme”. [1,978 children, 342 respondents]


6.3.8 What subjects does a school need to offer? Respondents were asked if they would eliminate a school from possible choices if it did not offer a particular subject at GCSE or equivalent. 614 respondents representing 1191 children responded to this question.

Q14 - No of children whose parents would eliminate a school that did not offer a particular subject at GCSE. [614 respondents, 1,191 children]

Responses to this question did not vary significantly across the sectors, with the exception of those in the Independent sector where the proportion that indicated Yes was much higher.

Q14 - No of children whose parents with links to the Independent Sector would eliminate a school that did not offer a particular subject at GCSE. [99 respondents, 185 children]


A subsequent question asked respondents that had responded yes to the above question, to outline the subjects that they considered essential. Many respondents included core subjects which form part of the National Curriculum. All local schools offer these subjects. A total of 43 unique responses were provided. The top 25% of responses (11) together with the number of children they represent is shown below. The full list of 43 responses can be found in a table at Appendix7.4.

Q15 – If you would eliminate a school that didn’t offer particular subjects at GCSE what subjects are these? Top 25% of responses (11) shown. [165 respondents, 633 children]


6.3.9 What Subjects Does a School Need to Offer at A Level? Respondents were asked if they would eliminate a school if it did not offer a particular subject at A Level or equivalent. Fewer people responded to this question and over half of these responded “Not sure”. This is largely reflective of the fact that for most respondents it is far too early to be able to predict possible A Level subjects. Many children move school at sixth form which makes choice of secondary school based on A Levels available less of an issue. Again, responses did not vary wildly across the sectors, with the exception of the Independent sector where Yes represented 40%.

Q16 - No of children whose parents would eliminate a school that did not offer a particular subject at A Level. [606 respondents, 1,196 children]

Respondents were asked to identify the subjects that they considered essential. A total of 43 unique responses were provided. The top 25% of responses (11) together with the number of children they represent is shown below. The full list of 43 responses can be found in a table at Appendix 7.5.

Q17 – If you would eliminate a school that didn’t offer particular subjects at GCSE what subjects are these? Top 25% of responses (11) shown. [165 respondents, 633 children]


6.4 Facilities 6.4.1 Use of Wildernesse 786 people expressed views on the future of the Wildernesse site. Respondents could select up to two options and could only select each option once. Other responses were coded as required. In all 1,143 different options were expressed – an average of 1.45 responses per respondent.

Q06 – For which of the following do you think the land at the Wildernesse site should be used? [786 responses]

Responses to this question varied based on whether or not the respondent had children, and by sector. Overall people without children were more interested in Community sports and Affordable housing.

Q06 – For which of the following do you think the land at the Wildernesse site should be used. Those with children vs. those without. [750 With children, 36 Without Children]


Those from the Independent sector were less interested in options regarding primary education, and more interested in youth facilities (albeit this was still a very small response).

Q06 – For which of the following do you think the land at the Wildernesse site should be used. Independent vs. State sector. [668 State, 118 Independent]

Those with links to Knole were much less interested in the site being used for secondary schools, and much more interested in it being retained for use by Knole Academy.

Q06 – For which of the following do you think the land at the Wildernesse site should be used. Independent vs. State sector. [75 Knole Links, 711 Other]


6.4.2 Sports Facilities The Wildernesse site is presently part of the community’s sports facilities. The Astroturf on the site was jointly funded by Sevenoaks District Council and lottery money. The sports hall is operated by SENCIO on behalf of Sevenoaks district Council for the benefit of the community. Therefore when discussing the potential future use of this site, the sporting element cannot be ignored, indeed providing community sports was the 2nd most popular response about its future. Respondents were asked to identify sports that had insufficient local facilities. Some respondents specified indoor or outdoor as part of their responses. The most frequently cited sports are shown in the chart below and, where appropriate, whether an indoor or outdoor facility was mentioned. A full list of all responses can be found in Appendix 7.6

Chart shows top 25% of responses cited in question 7. 272 data points were collected, and 44 different options were mentioned. [170 responses]


6.5 Transport Much has been made of the impact of transporting children to secondary school as part of the rationale for both the Christian Free School and the Sevenoaks Grammar Annexe. Children in Sevenoaks typically travel a long way and for a long time.

6.5.1 Reasonable Travelling Time The survey asked respondents to indicate how long they felt it reasonable for secondary school children to spend travelling to school. The vast majority indicated that up to 30 minutes was reasonable. This information was further analysed by location of respondent where possible, and can be broken down by postcode or District Council area.

Chart above shows responses to Question 24, tabulated against respondents postcode where provided. [665 responses]


Chart above shows responses to question 4, tabulated against respondents’ district council ward, where a full postcode was provided. [665 responses].

6.5.2 Actual Travelling Time Questions then asked respondents with secondary school children to indicate how long their children are presently travelling. Whilst a large number of children are only travelling for up to 15 minutes, mainly those from postcodes close to Sevenoaks town centre and presumably attending a Sevenoaks-based school, the vast majority are travelling for between 20 minutes and an hour with a significant number travelling for over an hour and some children travelling for over 2 hours.

Chart shows travel time and the number of children alongside partial postcodes where provided. [176 responses]


6.5.3 Actual Versus Reasonable Travelling Time By comparing the responses to Question 24 regarding an acceptable travelling time, with Question 29 which identified actual travelling time, it is possible to see the discrepancy. The chart below shows in red the proportion of respondents who would be happy that their child was travelling up to the time stipulated. For example 76% indicated they would be happy for their child to travel for up to 30 minutes. This figure includes all those who responded with up to 15 minutes, up to 20 minutes, and up to 30 minutes. The blue bars show the proportion of children who are travelling more than the time stipulated. For example 55% of children are travelling for more than 30 minutes. This includes all those who responded with 31-40 minutes, 41-50 minutes, 50 minutes-1hour, 1-1.25 hours, 1.25-1.5 hours, 1.5-2 hours and over 2 hours.

So, three quarters of respondents believe that children should travel no more than 30 minutes to secondary school, and yet 55% of children are travelling for longer than this. By the time you reach 50 minutes, only 10% of respondents felt that children should travel as long as this, and yet 22% of children are travelling for longer than this.


6.6 11+ (Kent Test) 6.6.1 Participation and success in the 11+ Survey respondents with secondary school children or children in year 6, were asked whether or not their children had participated in the 11+ (Kent Test). 176 respondents, representing 267 children, answered this question. Those who indicated their child had participated were asked whether or not the child passed, and if they didn’t pass whether they were successful on appeal. 33% of the children had not taken the 11+, and 41.9% passed. This does not include those that were successful at appeal, with an overall pass rate among those taking the test, of 62.6%. Using data obtained from KCC under the Freedom of Information Act, we can see that from the 23 state primary schools that reside in the “Sevenoaks area�, the proportion of children that take the 11+, in the academic years starting September 2008 - 2010, the number of children taking the test ranged from 67.1% to 71.6%, with between 38.6% and 43.3% of children passing. Children represented by respondents to the survey are more likely to have passed the 11+ than those typically found in the relevant state primary schools. A full list of these schools can be found at Appendix 7.7.

[Q35 Did your child/children participate in the 11+? 176 respondents representing 267 children]

Of course, included within the survey responses, were children attending schools in the independent sector. The % pass rate from survey respondents within the independent sector is 75.7% which explains why the data collected by the survey does not reflect the KCC data. If the children from the independent sector are discounted, the percentage pass rate changes to 59.2%, which is more in line with the KCC data. This indicates that respondents to the survey are largely reflective of the wider population.


6.6.2 11+ Preparation Methods Respondents who indicated that their child or children had participated in the 11+, were asked what forms of preparation they had used. Respondents could select multiple answers. Responses representing 179 children were received from 129 respondents. Of these, 44.7% admitted to using a private tutor, with 34.1% being supported by their parents. 11.7% claimed to have done no preparation at all. The proportion of children from the independent sector using a private tutor is far higher, and with far lower parental involvement. It is very difficult to compare the survey responses with any external data sources, to determine whether or not they are reflective of the community. To our knowledge no other survey has ever attempted to discover the extent of private tutor involvement in preparation for the 11+. There is a widely held view that it is prolific, and certainly far exceeds the 44.7% indicated here. Anecdotal evidence would certainly suggest otherwise. There may be reasons why the survey data collected does not reflect this, such as respondents reluctance to share the information. Alternatively, it could be that the survey data does reflect reality, and that the coaching problem the level of coaching, is not as widespread as parents are led to believe.

[Q36 – methods of preparation for the 11+ - 129 respondents representing 179 children]


In addition to the methods of preparation, respondents were asked to indicate how far in advance of the test their children started to prepare. Responses ranged from 24 months to no preparation at all, with the most frequently cited time being 12 months.

[Q38 - how far in advance that your child start to prepare? - 129 respondents representing 179 children]

For those who engaged a private tutor, respondents were asked to indicate the total amount they had spent on tutoring for their children for the 11+ exam. In total 64 respondents, representing 85 children provided answers to this question. This included all those who had indicated they use of a private tutor in question 36 plus a further 7 children who had not indicated this. The vast majority spent between £1 and £500, with some families investing over £2,000 per child.

[Q37 – how much did you spend on private tutoring? 64 respondents representing 85 children]


7. APPENDICES 7.1 Steering Committee 7.1.1 Permanent Members & Major Contributors Louise Newton - Clare Amanda Manuel Gaynor Lawson* Shirlee Granville** Sarah Shilling** Sarah Randall**

– Secretary – Chair – Treasurer

* Joined after the start of the project **Left before the end of the project

7.1.2 Other Contributors Jo Benham Cllr Anna Firth

7.2 Forum Members Emily Chandler Jeanette Dymond Sharon Ford Lucy Galloway David Galloway Customer & Communications Team, KCC David Kempster Jane Monk Liz Simmonds Adrienne Skelton Kim Pincott Linda Wakeling Nicola Young Kate York


7.3 Educational Organisations This project was supported by the vast majority of nurseries, preschools and primary schools in the area along with the Knole Academy. A complete list of those organisations that assisted with distributing the survey can be seen below:

School, Nursery, Pre-school Acorns Day Nursery Amherst School Anthony Roper Pre-School & Kindergarten Anthony Roper Primary School Barnies Day Nursery and Out of School Club Bradbourne Park Pre-School Broughton Cottage Day Nursery Chevening School Nursery Chevening St Botolph's Church of England V A Primary School Chiddingstone Nursery School Church House Pre-School Churchill Primary School Crockham Hill Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School Dunton Green Pre-School Dunton Green Primary School Edenbridge Children's Centre Edenbridge Nursery School Edenbridge Primary School First Steps Pre-School Four Elms Primary School Fullers Hill Playgroup Halstead Community Primary School Halstead Nursery Hever Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School Hollybush Montessori School Ide Hill Church of England Primary School Ide Hill Pre-School Kemsing Primary School Knole Academy Lady Boswell's Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School Leigh Primary School Moniques Montessori Day Nursery Monty's Day Care At Manic Monsters Ltd Otford Nursery School Ltd Otford Primary School Pipkins Nursery School- Chevening Pipkins Nursery School-Bessels Green Rainbow Pre - School Riverhead Infants School Russell House School


School, Nursery, Pre-school Saxbys Montessori Nursery Seal Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School Seal Village Pre-School Sevenoaks Day Nursery Sevenoaks Primary School Shoreham Village Pre-School Shoreham Village School Springboard Pre-School Squiggles Childcare St Edith's Pre-School Ltd St John's Church of England Primary School (Sevenoaks) St John's Pre-School St Katherine's Knockholt Church of England Voluntary Aided Primary School St Lawrence Church of England Primary School St Mary's Pre-School St Paulinus Pre-School St T homas' Catholic Primary School (Sevenoaks) St T homas Parish Pre-School St. Lawrence Pre-School St. Michael's Preparatory School Stepping Stones Pre-School (Sundridge) Sundridge and Brasted Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School T eddies Nurseries Limited T he Granville School T he Lodge Nursery School T he Vine Nursery T iggers Nursery School T op Banana Pre School Underriver Under Fives Nursery Weald Community Primary School Weald Pre-School Westerham Day Nursery Winnies Pre-School


7.4 Full List of Subjects Required at GCSE No of Children Subjects Physics, Chemistry, Biology as separate subjects Maths Not provided English Language Multiple Modern Languages History Geography Science 1 Modern Language Child Led Core Academic Subjects Music Art French English Literature Sport ICT Spanish German Design Technology Computer Studies Latin Drama/Performing Arts RE Broad range - non specific Food Technology Physics Chemistry IGCSE Italian Russian Sports Science Classical Languages Creative Dance Classical Civilisations Chinese Trampoline Japanese Greek No Vocational Ancient History Grecco-Roman wrestling Grand Total

Sector Independent 25 15 19 16 10 15 7 11 5 2 6 2 2 1 1 6 2 1 5 6 1 2

State 111 54 46 37 36 31 21 14 20 21 15 15 11 12 11 11 5 8 9 3 7 1 4 4 1 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1

1 1

Grand Total 136 69 65 53 46 46 28 25 25 23 21 17 13 13 12 11 11 10 10 8 7 7 5 4 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1

534

697

1 1 1 1 1

163


7.5 Full List of Subjects Required at A Level No of Children Subjects Not provided Physics, Chemistry, Biology as separate subjects Maths Child Led History English Language Multiple Modern Languages Geography Core Academic Subjects Science French Art 1 Modern Language Further Maths English Literature Spanish German Physics Economics Music Computer Studies Broad range - non specific RE Chemistry ICT Psychology Biology Sociology Applied Maths Business Studies Classical Languages Sport Specialist Maths Not IB Politics Dance Food Technology Photography Drama/Performing Arts Japanese Design Technology Electronics No Vocational Grand Total

Sector Independent 26

State 78

24 22 3 12 12 8 4 10 4 1 2 3 1 1 1

67 48 53 24 23 23 19 9 12 11 9 7 9 8 7 8 8 4 6 6 4 2 5 2 3 2 3 3 3

3 1 2 4 2 1 1

2 1

2 1 2 2 2 1 1 1

1 1 1 1 154

479

Grand Total 104 91 70 56 36 35 31 23 19 16 12 11 10 10 9 8 8 8 7 7 6 6 6 5 4 4 3 3 3 3 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 633


7.6 Full List Of Responses To Question On Sport Facilities No of respondents

Indoor/Outdoor

Sport

Not Specified

Indoor

Tennis

26

29

Swimming Pool

21

Football - all weather

20

Athletics Track

18

Squash

13

1

Netball

10

2

BMX/Velodrome/Mountain Biking

9

No

9

Ice Hockey/Ice Skating

6

Basketball

4

1

Hockey

5

1

Any/all sport

3

2

Climbing

6

6

Diving Pool

6

6

Swimming Pool (50m)

5

Cricket

4

Astro Turf

5

5

Cycle paths

4

4

Skate Park

4

4

Rugby

4

4

Gymnastics

4

4

Fencing

4

4

Children's play area

3

Volleyball

2

10 pin bowling

3

3

Archery

3

3

Indoor sports hall

Outdoor

Grand Total 55

2 1

23 21 18 14 12

1

10 9 6

1

6 6

1

6

5 1

5

1

4 1

2

3

2

Don't Know

2

2

Trampolining

2

2

Snooker

2

2

Darts

2

Badminton

1

Fun leisure pool with slides

2

2

Go karting

2

2

Private gym

1

1

2 1

Outdoor Gym Trail/Circuit

2

1

1

Figure Skating

1

1

Skiing

1

1

Table Tennis

1

1

Martial Arts

1

1

Rowing

1

1

Beach volleyball

1

1

Golf

1

1

Dance Grand Total

1 222

1 43

7

272


7.7 List of State Primary Schools in the “Sevenoaks Area”

Sevenoaks Secondary School Survey Findings Report  

Detailed report of the Sevenoaks ACE Secondary School Survey Findings. Survey conducted July 2012

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