September 13, 2017 at 3:02 pm #18879
My husband and I and two girls (5 and 1 years) are looking to a move from Petts Wood to just outside of TW. Our girls are only little but we don’t want to move again so we Want good options for secondary schools too.
We don’t go to church, are unsure if one or both girls would get into a gramma and preferably don’t want to go down the privately route. I would like to keep gramma open just incase they are quite clever and can make it.
We originally really liked wadhurst but as that comes under East Sussex I know gramma wouldn’t be an option.
So ideally now we would like to live in a village near TW like Langton green/speldhurst/fordcome/groombridge/frant etc.
But what if we don’t get gramma? What are the options in TW for ‘normal’ non church going, non gramma, good old state schools. I can only see skinners Kent academy and that’s over the other side of TW so would they get in?
Am I better off looking at wadhurst/mayfield and just settling for a nice normal state school like uplands/beacon/Heath field?
My head is spinning! Thanks for your help in advance
Chantel xSeptember 15, 2017 at 7:50 am #18885
We are in TW itself, so my knowledge of catchment areas for schools in outlying villages is very small. However, I’ll try and help! You don’t say how old your children are, but bear in mind that the tutoring process for grammar schools starts very early here! If you are in the outlying villages of TW, you wouldn’t get into TWGGS easily but it is still possible because if they are very bright and score highly then there are ‘governor places’ for girls from certain parishes (it’s on their website which ones). TGS in Tonbridge has an inner and an outer catchment and depending on where you live, you would need to get an inner area or outer area score – if you are in Langton/Speldhurst etc then I think that’s inner, so the scores are relatively lower. Weald of Kent used to have a wider intake, but with the annexe, I think that the catchment has shifted towards Sevenoaks a bit, in order to even up the choice closer to TW. Certainly children I know who applied this year, who in previous years would have got in, were allocated Maidstone rather than Tonbridge or TW grammar schools this year (though it was a high birth year).
Skinners Kent Academy is the only non religious state secondary in Tunbridge Wells, but is going from strength to strength and is over subscribed – I will be honest and don’t know what their catchment extends to, but I would have thought that close to TW would be ok – you could always phone the admissions secretary – they are usually quite helpful. St Gregs takes 40% of non-Catholic children and may be an option, Bennett is much stricter although with the rise in popularity of SKA, anecdotally I’ve been told that they are less strict than they were about the religious criteria – it’s still hard to get into though!
Bear in mind too that the primaries are very oversubscribed so getting into those is enough of a challenge. If your children are very young, it may easier not to have a set school for secondary in your head as your children may suit very different ones – I have four children and am fully prepared for them to be in different schools depending on what suits each one best. Grammar isn’t for everyone – even chidren who pass the test choose to go to non-grammar here because of different sporting or cultural options, and schools change as heads/staff/intakes change, so what may be brilliant for you now, may not be when the time comes…..
Also bear in mind that if you are in the villages and coming in to TW, the traffic is horrendous twice a day and is usually gridlocked along St John’s Road during school/office rush hours.
Not sure if any of that is helpful, but shout if you want any more info!
AnnSeptember 15, 2017 at 11:08 am #18887
Thank you ever so much this is very helpful.
The grammar route already sounds very stressful. I’m not sure I would cope let alone my girls! They are 5 and 1.5 years, so I’m really thinking ahead as I really don’t want to have to move again for secondary!
What are your thought on uplands/beacon/Heath field? They all seem very good state schools, very similar in results, have you any inside information on these?! Which would be your preference? Thanks again for all your help.
Chantel xSeptember 15, 2017 at 12:42 pm #18888
I am afraid that I really don’t know about the other secondary schools – I think Uplands is well regarded, but I don’t know about the other two at all..hopefully someone else more local to them than me can help you with those.
Most of the schools here are very good though so we are fairly spoiled for choice!
AnnSeptember 20, 2017 at 7:52 am #18907
Is Tunbridge Wells the only option for you, here’s a close alternative that may be worth a thought. http://www.grahamjohn.com/blog/kents-best-town-shhh-dont-tell-anyone/
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