(updated December 2016)
For further information on Progress 8 and Attainment 8 go to here.
Walmer Science College NOW CLOSED The school has now amalgamated with Castle Community College, which was effective closure of Walmer Science College, brought about by poor leadership. Further information and comment here. There were no further intakes from September 2014 onwards. Sadly for the children, almost as soon as they joined Castle, the latter plunged from OFSTED Outstanding to Special Measures!!
Weald of Kent Grammar School Tonbridge. Outstanding OFSTED. OFSTED Interim Assessment Jan 2011 - school still outstanding. After considerable controversy, the Sevenoaks Annexe was approved in January 2016, most recent comment here. and building started for its first entry in September 2017. Just 1 first choice not offered a place for Sept 2013. By the time of the appeals which took place after those of other local selective girls grammar schools, the number of places accepted had fallen to 149, so there were up to 26-31 places available if the Panel accepted the school case. 35 of the 50 appeals were upheld. For 2014 entry, 175 offers made, of which 168 were accepted, including 10 from outside Kent. For 2015 again 175 offers made, 29 first choices turned away on 1st March, no offers made to girls in Oversubscription category 5b or lower. 5 CGSEs A-C consistently at 99% for past four years. For 2016 entry, the school expanded again in preparation for the Annexe opening in 2017, to 230 places. 33 of the 190 first choices were turned down. 73 appeals heard, from both grammar qualified and others, of whom 18 were successful. 99% S GCSEs A-C. For 2017, with the grammar school annexe open, the Planned Admission Number has risen to 265 (90 on the Sevenoaks site). For details of how places are allocated to each site, consult the school website, Admission Rules, final section on document, where parents will be able to make a site preference. 2016 Provisional GCSE: Progress 8 - 0.54 Well above average; Attainment 8 - 69.4.
Westlands School Sittingbourne. Lead school for the extensive Swale Academies Trust. OFSTED 2012 - Outstanding. Excerpts: Information about this school - The Westlands School is a converter academy, established in September 2010, from The Westlands School, a maintained secondary modern school in the control of Kent local authority; When it was last inspected in 2008, The Westlands School was judged to be outstanding overall; teaching, behaviour and overall effectiveness of the sixth form were judged to be good; The school is a larger than average-sized non-selective secondary school, located within a selective area; It is the lead school in an academy trust consisting of two primaries and an additional secondary school; The Trust principal is responsible for the leadership of all four trust schools; Other staff also provide support within the schools; The proportion of students that are looked after or known to be eligible for free school meals is slightly below average; The school has an on-site centre known as the ‘Pyramid Centre’ where two units are located, providing specialist support for students with physical disabilities or dyslexia; The school meets the current government floor standards, which set minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress. Key finding - This is an outstanding school. 92 first choices not offered a place for September 2013, part of a massive problem for non-selective schools in Sittingbourne. At the end of March 2013 the school has not offered additional places to children on the waiting list, as it did the previous two years. Somewhere along the line this happened and there were no appeals in the end. No expansion again at the beginning of March 2014, but no appeals. For 2015 entry, popularity could be said to have waned, although there were still 66 first choices turned away after all 285 places filled. Could be linked to sharp fall in GCSE 5 A-C performance from around 60% in previous years to 43% in 2014, but rose again to 60% for 2015. For 2016 entry, There were 319 first choice applications for the 285 places, of whom 91 were turned away. There is considerable movement in Sittingbourne, with a high proportion of children going off to grammar school on appeal, so there were just 17 appeals registered. Of these, 6 withdrew, and the remaining 11 offered places without the need to go to appeal. A healthy return to 60% 5 A-Cs at GCSE in 2015. Controversial proposal to turn Meopham School, one of the Trusts academies into a Grammar School. Provisional Progress 8 Score 2016 - 0.27 (Above average). Attainment 8 - 47.7.
Whitstable Community College. Go to Community College Whitstable.
Wilmington Academy. Became an Academy September 2010, converting from the failed Wilmington Enterprise College which was placed in Special Measures in 2009. Federated with the highly successful Leigh Academy (above). Other sponsors are the Universities of Kent and Greenwich and Kent County Council. Popularity shot up for 2012 entry with 33 first choices turned away in March, just 10 in 2013. OFSTED May 2013- Good. Some excerpts from the Report: Information about this school: Wilmington Academy opened in September 2010; It is smaller than an average-sized secondary school; The Academy consists of two small schools, each with their own principal and assistant principals; The specialist subjects are business and enterprise and vocational studies; The academy is open six days a week; The construction of a new building is well under way and it is anticipated that it will open in November this year; The academy is sponsored by The Leigh Academies Trust, Kent County Council and the University of Greenwich; Sixth form education is provided in collaboration with The Leigh Technology Academy and Longfield Academy; The academy is non-selective, but operates in an area with grammar schools; The school meets the government’s current floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress. Key finding. This is a Good School. 2013 KS4 results proved outstanding giving much positive publicity. For 2015 admission, this was the fifth most oversubscribed non-selective school in Kent on allocation in March, turning away 94 disappointed first choices, not only because of its own success, but the failure of nearby Oasis Hextable Academy, now to close. My memory goes back a few years to when I supported families in appeals to Hextable as they attempted to flee Wilmington. How times change! Disappointing sharp fall in GCSE A-Cs to 49% in 2014, from 71% the previous year, and further to 46% in 2015. 27 of the 212 first choices turned away for the 240 places. Very difficult to win an appeal, so numbers have fallen. For 2016 entry, none of the the three appeals were successful. Provisional GCSE 2016: Progress 8 - -0.05, close to national average; Attainment 8 - 45.8.
Wilmington Grammar School for Boys. An Academy in conjunction with Wilmington Girls. Heavily oversubscribed because of large number of applications from across the county boundary. OFSTED 2013: Good (up from Satisfactory in 2010). Excerpts from Report: Information about the school - This is a slightly smaller than average school with 241 students in the sixth form; The school selects from the top 25% of boys; The school converted to become an academy school in August 2011; The school has a specialism in engineering; The school meets the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress. Key Findings - This is a good school; The headteacher’s clear and ambitious vision for the school, which is shared by all staff, has successfully brought about improvements in teaching and, as a result, students make good progress and achieve well; Offer level to top 10% remained high in 2013, at 414 again. 11 qualified first preferences not offered, 68 offers to London Borough children. Initial 2013 cut off was 6.45 miles; at appeal school indicated it could take another 30 boys. School has gone to five forms of entry for admission September 2014. Cut off was a tight 5.64 miles, with the top 10% cut off down to 413. It changed its oversubscription criteria for 2015 admission to give priority to Kent boys, still allowing the 10% for high scorers. Whilst this eased pressure on Kent boys in NW Kent area since Dartford started chasing high scorers from SE London, it still turned away 14 grammar school qualified first choices, and had the second highest number of second choices of any grammar school in the county (again the London effect). 98% 5 A-Cs at GCSE in 2014, and 96% in 2015. Just 9 out of 99 appeals upheld for 2015 admission. For 2016 admission, there were 124 qualified first choices for the 150 places, but 49 of these were turned down, probably mainly London candidates. There were still 32 ooc applications offered places; a number of these will be from siblings of the two Wilmington grammars. Just 6 of the 109 appeals heard were successful. Provisional GCSE 2016: Progress 8 - 0.07, close to national average; Attainment 8 - 62.2. For 2016, furthest distance on allocation, 2.53 miles. For 2017 this went out further to 3.98 miles.
Wilmington Grammar School for Girls. Academy in conjunction with Wilmington Grammar School for Boys. OFSTED Nov 2015: Outstanding, up from Good. Excerpts from Report: Information about the school. This academy is smaller than the average secondary school; The headteacher was appointed in September 2014. Being relatively new to headship, she receives leadership support from the headteacher of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Faversham; The academy gives and receives school-to-school support through SSAT, the Leading Edge Partnership and the Dartford Area School Consortium; The headteacher provides leadership support to the Principal of the London Design and Engineering University Technical College; The proportion of pupils from minority ethnic groups and pupils who speak English as an additional language is above the national average. Approximately 15% of pupils are of African heritage; The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is below average; Since 2013, the academy has worked in collaboration with Wilmington Grammar School for Boys to provide co-educational 16–19 provision. To ensure a balance of ability and gender, half the boys are on roll at the girls’ school and vice versa; The academy meets the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for pupils’ attainment and progress. Key findings This is an outstanding academy; Outcomes for pupils are outstanding. Pupils make rapid progress in a range of subjects; The headteacher is a determined and capable leader who has set very high expectations for staff and pupils. 2014 admission oversubscribed for first time for several years. Initial cut-off 6.3 miles. Still oversubscribed for admission in 2015 in spite of increasing PAN by 30 to 150, turning away 20 grammar qualified first choices. Just 7 out of 79 appeals upheld for 2015. For 2016 admission 34 qualified first choices oversubscribed. Just 14 out of 96 appeals heard upheld. Provisional GCSE 2016: Progress 8 - +0.20, above national average; Attainment 8 - 66.5.
Wrotham School. popular rural school always heavily oversubscribed, but takes some additional children after appeals each year. 35 first choices oversubscribed on allocation in 2010, 18 in 2011. Now an Academy. 39 first choices oversubscribed for 2012. Began in September 2012 with 129 students in Year 7, nine above the Planned Admission number. For 2013 entry increased PAN by 10 to 130 and still turned away 33 first choices, 29 on allocation in 2014.Half of the 26 appeals were successful. OFSTED May, 2015 - GOOD. Some excerpts from Report: Information about the school - Wrotham School converted to become an academy on 1 April 2013. When its predecessor school, also known as Wrotham School, was last inspected by Ofsted it was judged to be good. The school is smaller than the average sized secondary school. The school is non-selective operating in an area with a selective system. A new headteacher was appointed in January 2012. The current deputy headteacher was recruited in 2012 and two assistant headteachers took up post in September 2014. A new director for the sixth form was appointed in January 2015. The subject leader for mathematics was also appointed this academic year. The proportion of students supported by the pupil premium is below average. The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs is well above average. The school does enter students early for GCSE examinations. The school meets the current government floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress. key findings - This is a good school. The headteacher provides inspired leadership. He gives clear direction for the school and is supported by a good leadership team. Students join the school in Year 7 with average skills. GCSE results are well above average at the end of Year 11. PAN increased by 10 to 140 for 2015 admission, which left just 3 first choices not being offered places. GCSE a healthy 57% in 2015. For 2016 Admission, 21 first choices oversubscribed on allocation in March, 4 appeals were heard of which none were successful. Provisional GCSE 2016: Progress 8 - -0.07, close to national average; Attainment 8 - 46.7.
Wye School, Ashford. This new Free School for an intake of just 90 children opened in September 2013, and has rapidly become very popular, to the extent that it is reported there is now a house price premium in the village. The proposal to focus on the academic curriculum of the English Baccalaureate indicated the philosophy of the proposers, although their website paints a highly ambitious programme, apparently catering for all interests and aptitudes (nothing wrong with that) which may be difficult to achieve in such a small school. Part of the thinking behind the proposal may be for children to avoid the large and socially diverse non selective schools in Ashford and Kennington, which has certainly been successful, with the Towers School in neighbouring Kennington especially hard hit. The school was given temporary planning permission for use of its current buildings for three years, and the school is now looking to extend this to 2018, but as yet there is no firm indication of a permanent site. For 2014 entry, the school was heavily oversubscribed, the cut off distance for successful applications to the school being 4.37 miles, with just one successful appeal (one of my clients!). 74 first preferences were turned away for 2015 entry. There were 23 appeals for 2015 entry to a KCC Panel, none of whom were successful. OFSTED Jun 2015 - GOOD. Some excerpts from Report: Information about the school - This is a free school, founded by members of the local community. It opened in September 2013 and is located in a rural area. It takes students of different abilities within the local selective system of education.It is attached to United Learning, which is a group of academies, independent schools and free schools. Wye is oversubscribed, but is small for a secondary school; there are 90 students in each of Years 7 and 8 only. There are, therefore, no examination results yet. It is envisaged that, over forthcoming years, the school will move to a roll of about 600, including sixth form provision. The proportion of disadvantaged students, is below the national average (unusual for a non-selective school in this area). About an average proportion of students are disabled or have special educational needs. key findings - This is a good school. In 2015 a local newspaper reported a property boom in Wye due ot the opening of the Free School. For 2016 Admission, 51 first choices oversubscribed on allocation. none of the 14 appeals were successful.