Secondary Schools in Ashford, Kent(11 Posts)
We're looking at moving to Willesborough in Ashford. Our daughter is in year 5 at the moment. The problem with Ashford seems to be that you either send your kids to the brilliant but beyond our budget private school. Failing that you take your chance with the Kent Test and hope that you get into a grammar school. Failing that you're left with the standard comps which seem to be pretty awful.
Our daughter is bright but not top table (in her school she generally sits on table number 2 out of 5 where table 1 is the smartest and table 5 is for the children who need the most help). From what I've read people start preparing for the Kent Test in year 3 or earlier. I'm really worried that our daughter wouldn't pass the Kent Test (or pass it sufficiently well) to secure a grammar school place.
There must be thousands of parents in our position. Do they all just accept that their kids will go to a school in special measures (e.g. The North School in Ashford) or am I missing something? There's no way we can afford private school.
Any thoughts or advise appreciated, especially from any parents who send their kids to the comp schools in Ashford.
There are no comps in Ashford.
There is the grammar
or the secondary moderns
in parts of Kent, some of the SecMods produce good results but by no means all
The North school is better than Towers school (apparently). Homewood school in Tenterden is meant to be very good ( non selective). I have heard of children commuting to Homewood school from Ashford. We have two in primary at the momment moved from London four years ago we are very happy with it here .
Could you sit your daughter for a busary / scholarship for private ?
They aren't called secondary moderns in our part of Kent, rather "academies". Or colleges. Or "secondary" schools. They aren't ever called comprehensives.
In DS's year this year, 16 out of 45 in the year passed the Kent test. All the children that passed, with the exception of two, are on the top 2 tables. One of the others had had 4 tutors for 2 years. Most children have some tutoring for 6-12 months before the test, either with a paid tutor or DIYD from the parents. There is no prep done for the Kent test at state schools.
You need to visit the schools. I have a non grammar in mind for my DD as she's not especially academic. It's not awful, it doesn't have stellar results, but it will probably suit her. No, it won't have the results a top comprehensive in say Hampshire would, but hey we don't live there. You have to look at the schools on offer, and be happy with either the selective or non selective in terms of fit for your child. Id never consider a move to Kent and be totally reliant on my children passing the Kent test. Research the alternatives thoroughly.
It has to be said that at some of the Kent SecMods (regardless of the title, that is what they are in reality) the top sets there do really, really well - better than the lower sets at the grammars
the commute from Ashford to Tenterden sounds horrible IMHO
yes I live in Hampshire but I used to live in deepest East Kent
Towers is a good school, as is Brockhill Park Performing Arts College. The North is on a bit of a down at the moment, but will no doubt come up again. All you can do is go and see them... Highworth (GGS) is very pressurised I have heard, and quite a lot of bitchiness. The private school is brilliant if your face fits, but otherwise not...
oh and Homewood has really annoying holidays, completely unsyncronised with every other school in the area which could be an issue if you have more than one child!
Get in touch with the brilliant private school as I know they do bursaries covering up to 100% of the fees for able and talented kids.
There is a new secondary school In Wye village might be worth exploring
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