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Cranbrook School, Kent

(22 Posts)
kentwife Tue 09-Feb-16 13:10:40

Hi I'm trying to find out what the current situation is like at Cranbrook School, Kent. There seems to be lots of rumours about funding shortages and redundancies. There is also talk of creative subjects being scrapped. And I recently read in the Kent Courier that the school's budget has been cut to 30 per cent of what is was in 2010. I'd like to hear from parents who currently have children at the school what impact this is having on the children, results, sport and the extra curricular element.
Thanks in advance.

EarlGreyTeaAndToast Sun 14-Feb-16 08:06:50

No child there, but it's a school I know well. It has always been a school that I'd count in the all fur coat and no knickers category.
I know so many members of staff from independent schools near by who sent their DC to Cranbrook to get what they thought was the same experience but for free.
Instead their own colleagues and friends ended up stepping in and helping with A level choices, with UCAS forms, with university admissions tests, with career advice... None of that was very good sadly, and over a good few years.
Now, yes, I have also heard all of those things about funding being worse.

PippaHotamus Sun 14-Feb-16 08:09:46

I only know people who went there in the 70s and 80s. They all took a lot of drugs, is all I can say smile

EarlGreyTeaAndToast Sun 14-Feb-16 08:18:57

pippa perhaps that was more the decade?
I remember a girl snorting poppers before a maths lesson vividly.
Top UK girls independent school 😳
I often wonder about why the rest of us never said anything though.

PippaHotamus Sun 14-Feb-16 08:22:58

Yes, they absolutely loved it there...it's a shame if it's gorn downhill.

Eagle25 Thu 03-Mar-16 22:30:12

We recently removed our child from Cranbrook school. It was a big decision as so much hard work to gain a place (plus we paid a fortune for house in the catchment area). We were not the only family to remove their child. Class sizes are huge and behaviour disruptive. Very concerned about the cut in creative subjects. News is there will no longer be GCSE courses offered for sport, music and possibly art.
Changes need to be made to restore this school to the excellent reputation it had. And questions should be asked why they can't fill the vacancies for teaching staff at a school like Cranbrook. Lunches are excellent though!

PettsWoodParadise Fri 04-Mar-16 08:22:54

I know they've had a consultation to change entry to Y7 and not Y9. I don't know the outcome. Beyond that I don't know too much.

Drinkstoomuchcoffee Fri 04-Mar-16 09:03:57

I know a number of parents who have sent children to Cranbrook on the grounds that it is a free public school education - or a 30% cost one if boarding. But the bottom line is that like other STATE boarding schools it is a state school and subject to the same funding constraints as the state system. So it can't offer what the big private schools offer.

That said, it is academically and socially selective. The 13+ entry point means that most of the intake come from the private sector and thus have a head start on their state school counterparts. That means that many of the factors that might point parents to private secondaries do not apply. Large classes are less of an issue when the students are uniformly bright, well behaved, and motivated. That is why grammars get such good results despite bigger classes.

Additionally, Cranbrook students, though from identical backgrounds to private school students, can play the state educated card at University Admissions.

The question I would ask is whether the added value from similar intake private secondaries in the area - Sevenoaks for example - is such that it justifies the extra £15,000 - £20,000 per child per year. Not a problem if you are rich with one child. But very different if you have three or four in close succession.

Ke8fit Fri 19-Aug-16 21:34:12

I have recently moved home from the Middle East after 10 years. Having been out of the U.K. System for a long time the move back has been quite difficult. We a have place for my eldest daughter at Cranbrook school (year 9) in Kent but I am really apprehensive having read all the bad press.
Does anyone have any advice? #worried

Ke8fit Fri 19-Aug-16 21:36:52

I have recently moved home from the Middle East after 10 years. Having been out of the U.K. System for a long time the move back has been quite difficult. We a have place for my eldest daughter at Cranbrook school (year 9) in Kent but I am really apprehensive having read all the bad press.
Does anyone have any advice? #worried

Bobochic Sat 20-Aug-16 03:44:31

I don't have a DC there but I know the area very well indeed.

Cranbrook is an OK school. The town and surrounding area are very white British, both born-and-bred and also people who have moved out of London for a different, more traditional, lifestyle. The local mentality can be quite complacent and unchallenging as life is comfortable and pleasant. The biggest danger for DC at Cranbrook is to be lulled into a false sense of security about the wider world and the competition that is out there. I know families who are very well off whose DC are failing to maintain anything like the same standard of living as their parents as they are quite unused to the pace and expectations of London.

Kporter8888 Sat 20-Aug-16 05:33:00

Thank you. I think I have made a big mistake, especially as I have now only just realised that several subjects have been dropped from the GCSE options.
We only moved (renting) to the area for the reputation of cranbrook but I now fear that the reputation is changing???

GinandJag Sat 20-Aug-16 12:37:36

It's going through a bad time, with some subjects, eg music, being cancelled completely.

Kporter8888 Sat 20-Aug-16 13:32:14

Yes that's what I now understand. My daughter is very sporty and is wanting to take Pe at GCSE but this has been cancelled too?
We have only just returned do the grammar schools were not an option for us. Are there any good points about the school?

hblondie26 Mon 24-Oct-16 17:38:46

Hi, we are also in the Middle East and considering Cranbrook for our son for the coming sept. Did your child end up at Cranbrook or did you go elsewhere? If so, what is it like?

I have read a lot of press about strikes regarding redundancies - does anyone have any idea just how unhappy the staff are?

If PE GCSE is being cut has anything happened to the sporting provision in general?

Any insight would be gratefully received as son is due to sit the entrance exams next month.

Trufflette Fri 03-Mar-17 13:40:35

I know this is a bit late in the day, but I have a child in Year 9 at Cranbrook having been at a local independent for a couple of years prior to that and a state school in London before that. Cranbrook is a good school. It's in a bit of state of flux at the moment as funding has been cut and they are now admitting at Year 7, so they are going through an uncertain time. Subjects have been cut, Music, PE, DT, ICT for example which means that the creative choices at GCSE are very limited (art, drama, food tech). I have found that mostly the teachers are good, engaged and enthusiastic and seem to have got the measure of my child for the most part. There are a couple of teachers I have not been impressed with, as have a number of other parents, and this has been dealt with to some extent. My child is happy, is settled, enjoying school, is gets involved in the wealth of extra-curricular activities (timetabling is a bit frustrating as there are a lot of clashes). They have so many opportunities there to explore all kinds of different areas. They have a great compulsory extra curricular program where they have to get involved in local community. If you have a kid who is prepared to work, as in most schools, they will do very well at Cranbrook. It is a state school, it is not perfect, some kids will have a dreadful experience, but in the main, the discipline is good, the ethos is good and the education is good, and there is a lot of parental support. Class sizes are big, there is disruption as there is in any state school - there's nothing you can do about that. It's going through a bit of bad time at the moment, but what school doesn't at some point. But from a personal point of view, it is working for us and I can't see that any other state school would be any better.

kerstin123 Sun 23-Apr-17 13:53:34

Good day fellow parents ..

I have read the various comments below. I am looking at relocating back to the UK with my son, who is British to start Year 10. He has been in a British curriculum school abroad.

I am partially encouraged but still concerned after I read the comments made in March 2017. We are at the early stages and just sitting assessments. I will be considering boarding and my son is from an ethnic minority background. Please advise. Thank you

UsernameMum Mon 24-Apr-17 14:15:23

Hi Kerstin. As the Cranbrook mum said, the school is not great at the moment. Have you looked at Sir Roger Manwoods School in Sandwich (Kent)? Also a boarding state grammar and offers a far superior all round education and pastoral care IMO.

kerstin123 Mon 24-Apr-17 17:54:59

Thank you... comments noted.

chatcat Tue 16-May-17 08:06:16

My son is at Cranbrook in year 9. He is very settled and enjoying it there, having been state school to y6, then went private for 2 years prior to Cranbrook. He has just chosen GCSEs - choice is limited in that they have to take maths, englishx2, sciences x3, a humanity and a language. They then get 2 to pick from a choice of around 6/7 - DT, ICT, PE and music are not available - food Tec, art, further languages and humanities are. If you have an academically bright child then the choices make sense. The school is strapped for cash but working very hard to bridge the gap. My impression is that class sizes are smaller than average 20-25 per class - so more than independents, but a lot less than the 40+ size class my younger son used to be in in a state school. I hope that helps?

MadreRumba Tue 16-May-17 08:12:20

This thread was started over a year ago...

Antipodes Thu 08-Jun-17 05:38:08

My 17 year old son is a boarder nearing the end of year 12 at Cranbrook. He is very settled and last year did well in his GCSE results. His top choice for Uni next year will likely be Cambridge Where he wants to study law.

Before going to Cranbrook my son was at a highly regarded private school for boys and was only averaging a C grade. Whilst there may be financial constraints my son has still managed to thrive within the environment at Cranbrook.

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