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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:57 am
Posts: 10
Greenwich Mum wrote:
OP,
I am sure that if you were appealing for a place for your child in the school, you would have been really happy to have a place even if there were 33 in a class.
Why are you worrying about the population in a town centre?
Look at Central London, millions of people and everyone is happy.


Eh? What's that got to do with the price of fish? And no, since you ask, I wouldn't be 'really happy' to accept a place for my son in a class of 33, regardless of the school, without giving it some serious thought.

Does anyone know if there is any other school in Kent that has (or will have from Sept) class sizes of 33, across a whole year group, super selective grammar or not? It can't surely just be Skinners' which arguably sits on the smallest site with such limited capacity to expand?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:21 am 
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Joined: Fri May 01, 2015 5:24 pm
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Most schools I know admit more than 30 into each class now.

Whether there are 31 in a class or 33 - that's neither here nor there.

In primary school / early years class size certainly has an impact on educational achievement in general - there are countries that won't allow anywhere near 30 kids in one class. Then again, those countries also have very different funding arrangements for education, childcare, welfare, pensions etc. so can't be directly compared.

It is a huge problem when education is purely considered as a cost to the country rather than as an investment into the future.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 7:45 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:24 pm
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Location: Petts Wood, Bromley, Kent
Townley Grammar now has 32 as standard per class. Teachers I’ve spoken to some say it doesn’t make much difference, others (mainly the essay based ones) that marking and homework and admin loads are made worse and given an even choice will consider favourably the smaller class over the larger one. However they also say sometimes the school with the larger classes has a larger budget and can pay more so it is rarely a level playing field or like for like choices.

Some schools have adapted for the pupils to do peer marking to take the load off the teacher and also understand the mark scheme better. DD’s Grammar with 26 or 27 per class (only not expanding as the rooms physically can’t fit another bean in let alone a student) seems to attract teachers as a result so whilst quality of teaching may not be affected by large class sizes availability of teachers could be a possibility but get the impression from my small sample that whatever the size many (not all, some dislike grammars) teachers will pick a Grammar over a comprehensive regardless of class sizes.

Class size at Y7 is really not as important as class sizes further up the school. Larger class sizes can allow some subjects to be taught that would otherwise have been dropped due to low numbers. Others can get unwieldy if too many (drama for example) or not enough lab space can impact availability of some subjects or make timetabling awkward. Larger numbers of pupils without additional overheads like teachers or classrooms improves funding to the school too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:11 am 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:21 pm
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Location: Kent & Medway
Working from the October 2018 schools census: Mayfield, Sir Roger Manwoods, Maidstone Girls, Simon Langton Boys probably had 32 (although they could have split into an additional class for the numbers on roll, but unlikely), Skinners had 156 for five classes (and again in January. No one appears to have mentioned size of classroom as a limiting factor!


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 2:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:35 am
Posts: 118
I'm a (current, and about to be a Y7 again) Skinners' parent and don't have any concerns about the class sizes - they already have 32 in a class, I can't see that one extra child is going to make a huge difference - either to the teaching or to the chaos that the eating situation currently is! It's a fabulous school and I feel very privileged that (so far) 2 of my 3 boys have had the opportunity to be educated there.


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:45 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:21 pm
Posts: 241
Location: Kent & Medway
There were five successful appeals at Skinners, following the pattern of previous years. There was a total of 74 appeals. Whilst this suggests classes of 33, the fluidity of places in West Kent grammar schools, due to the effect of families settling for private education, means that the figure of 165 will inevitably fall. Under the rules, additional pupils cannot be added in until the figure drops back to less than 160 or there are successful late appeals.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 05, 2019 2:03 pm 
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Skinners’ are planning to increase their PAN by 10 students each year from 2019 to 2025, so an additional 2 classes per year in total by 2025!


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 06, 2019 8:05 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:45 pm
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My son is at Skinners in year 9 and he currently has 33 in his class. He has never complained about a lack of space or class sizes being too big. It sounds like your worry is from a space point of view rather than teachers being able to cope with larger class sizes but it is worth considering that once they go into year 10 those 156 boys are split into 6 classes rather than 5 so class sizes reduce substantially.

It is my impression that the only issue Skinners have with size/space is feeding everybody in a timely manner at lunchtime and from what I hear they are not the only school with that issue. My son gets around this by taking a packed lunch on the days that his year group are not first or second to lunch.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 9:33 am 
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Mine has a school lunch every day but I don't think it's a problem. He seems to go for paninis or wraps most days though so that might help if it's queues for hot food. They also get early lunch passes if they're doing a lunchtime club or activity. He's really enjoying Skinners, it does seem a great school.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:03 pm 
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Joined: Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:19 pm
Posts: 7696
Yrs 12 and 13 are allowed off site for lunch so that reduces the numbers using the dining hall too.

At the moment I am sitting in the car watching them train for their rugby tour and I know we couldn't have chosen a better school for either of our boys. Bricks and mortar don't make a school.....

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