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Nonsuch - Year Size 240 girls!

(20 Posts)
Corblimbea Sat 29-Feb-20 12:48:41

I’ve just read that Nonsuch are taking an extra thirty girls this September, so year groups will be at 240! We are looking at private schools and grammar for DD but this size seems crazy! Do any mums with DD there know how the pastoral care is when there are so many girls? I’d be worried about that number continuing to rise too as the article says the council have instructed them to add 30 this year with more planned next year (DD’s year). Would be grateful for any comments.

OP’s posts: |
Toomanycats99 Sat 29-Feb-20 12:51:59

My dd isn't at that school but another one not that far away and her year has 315!

I'm happy with pastoral care there - they carry the same form tutor through the school so they really get to know them well.

cabbageking Sat 29-Feb-20 13:40:47

There will have been a discussion between school and council about capacity, additional funding, provision and standards beforehand. The school know there is a need and will have negotiated hard with the council around their risk register, provision and needs. The extra pupils aren't just forced on you without agreement. The school will have a plan and funding for addition staffing and the wider effects of taking additional students. If there are more to come this will already be considered in their planning now. The school holds the power here and if it isn't advantageous they will have refused.

TeenPlusTwenties Sat 29-Feb-20 13:42:10

I don't know the school.
My DD is at a mixed comp with year group sizes of slightly above that. The pastoral care is ace. And a bigger year group leads to more flexible GCSE options and more scope for finding like minded friends. As long as the school is physically large enough I wouldn't worry.

RedskyAtnight Sat 29-Feb-20 13:59:34

I don't know the school either, but 240 would be considered a small school around here smile (DC's school have 480 in a year group).

you'll probably find that the year group is divided up into sections for timetabling purposes so it doesn't actually appear that large to the children. And they will be in classes with personal tutor who is the first point of contact for pastoral issues.

PettsWoodParadise Sat 29-Feb-20 23:32:29

A larger school often means more curriculum choices and when teachers leave more cover options. What can be challenging is if like DD’s school it went from a school designed for 90 to one for 160 per year but key elements like the kitchens and dining areas are not able to be upgraded and too small to cope. It does create pinch points. Generally the positives outweigh the negatives.

Some of the grammars were offered extra funds if they created more spaces for PP places so that has had a factor in some grammar school extra classes.

dontletmedowngently Sun 01-Mar-20 10:50:42

I went there 30ish years ago when it was probably a 5 form entry. Whilst I think they have expanded the school building massively since then there is no way for them to change most of the original building which must be 80 years old by now. The corridors and stairs were overcrowded when I was there - they must be terrifying now!

240 is on a par with the schools both my children go to, but both schools were completely rebuilt in the last 20 years and designed to house that number of pupils.

WhatAGreatDay Sun 01-Mar-20 17:22:04

DD goes to Nonsuch. I've just looked up the admissions policy for 2020 entry and it says the PAN is 210.

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SnowyPetals Sun 01-Mar-20 17:28:46

240 is the standard number for secondary schools where we are. Perhaps the school has been under capacity for a long time before now, ie it already has space but the council has only just now decided it is required?

QuarterMileAtATime Sun 01-Mar-20 17:34:03

@whatagreatday it's a recent change since the applications for places went in at the end of 2019 because it looked like lots of Sutton borough children would be without a school place. 4 other schools have also increased their intake - a total of 193 places. The decision was made in January this year.

WhatAGreatDay Mon 02-Mar-20 11:15:06

QuarterMileAtATime I've googled this and I can't find any reference to this expansion. Have you got a link? Nonsuch did apply for Theresa May's grammar school expansion fund, but was refused.

WhatAGreatDay Mon 02-Mar-20 11:18:11

SnowyPetals Nonsuch is a very selective grammar school. It is also part of a Multi Academy Trust so I don't think they can be forced by the Council to expand. As I said above Nonsuch did apply to expand under the grammar school expansion fund, but were refused.

QuarterMileAtATime Mon 02-Mar-20 11:24:43

Somebody on another forum (so this part is hearsay) said they called the school to confirm which admission criteria the extra places would be allocated and the school said the ring-fenced places for Sutton Borough children are increasing from 15 to 45.

Giroscoper Mon 02-Mar-20 11:44:24

My son's school year has 270 children I believe, they have 4 pastoral care officers. They move up with the year group so have continuity of care.

Every year group has an assistant principal as one of the 4, then a head of year and 2 pastoral with very minimal teaching duties if any. But they all form the pastoral team. I cannot fault it, it works perfectly well. It is a mixed school.

reallifegetsintheway2 Mon 02-Mar-20 18:04:53

The original 1930s part is far too small- the corridors are tiny. Girls in certain years are not allowed to carry bags- only their books. the current year 7 have most of their lessons in one place and the teachers come to them. This was after a H & S study. I wouldn't send my DD there. It isnt a particularly happy place..

reluctantbrit Mon 02-Mar-20 20:43:54

DD’s school has 240 as standard and their pastoral care was the thing which sold the school to us. They have a dedicated support team and rooms where the girls can go at any time to talk to people on confidence. DD, now Y8, uses them and found them very supportive.

The form tutor stays at least for KS3 and then again KS4.

There are lots of after school and lunch clubs, a huge music department, lots of things a smaller school can’t offer.

210/240 is also the standard in our area.

Darbs76 Mon 02-Mar-20 21:14:54

My children’s year group is 340. The school is split into 4 mini schools with a head of each which works well.

Councilworker Mon 02-Mar-20 23:10:21

I deal with a number of schools and academies with PANs of 240 to 360. A number have been asked to take an additional class this year as despite new schools opening the capacity still isn't there for the population increases in the area. The LAs place planning team will often negotiate with academies where they can see that they don't have enough places to meet the number of children from that borough which is why the places will be ring fenced for girls from that borough m

AliMonkey Mon 02-Mar-20 23:20:29

DD is very happy there. Quality of pastoral care depends a lot on which form tutor you have as, although there's care there, if no one notices you need it and you don't ask then it's not going to happen. Her form tutor isn't great but she has no particular issues needing extra support so is fine.
Overcrowding much less of an issue there where they all have lockers to use than at DS's school where they have no lockers so have to carry round bags, PE kits and coats everywhere all day. 240 in a year is about average for Sutton and Surrey schools.

AliMonkey Mon 02-Mar-20 23:21:39

Meant to say - only overcrowding issue is when they try to get them all into hall for an assembly at end of term and trying to get them all through the canteen in their lunch hour and still have a selection of food left at the end - but that's the same in most secondary schools.

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