FAQ's

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Why are you thinking of changing the school?

Over the past few years the demand for places at Kemnal has fallen which has meant that the College is currently undersubscribed.  This has led to TKAT (the Kemnal Academies Trust -the Academy sponsor) with the Governors and Headteacher to work together in developing plans that will secure the future of the College and ensure it provides excellent teaching and a rich and varied curriculum for all students. The Governors are proposing that the most appropriate way of delivering this is by making the College co-educational.

Why can’t the College stay as a boy’s school?

The schools could remain as they are, however a predicted fall in pupil numbers means a decrease in budget for the College which could mean a reduction in the choice in curriculum subjects. The Governors are being pro-active in considering the different options open to the College. They are committed to ensuring that the College can continue to provide an exciting and balanced curriculum for students to achieve good outcomes.

When is this all going to happen?

This process is at the consultation phase.  The consultation on the proposal is taking place with staff, parents, students, the community and others from Monday 11 December 2017 until Monday 22 January 2018.  A decision on the proposal is likely to be taken by the Departmnet of Education in Spring 2018.  Any changes are anticipated to be introduced on a phased basis, starting with the Year 7 intake from September 2019.

Who will make the decision and when will it be made?

Any changes will need to be approved by the Department for Education.  It is anticipated that this will be taken in Spring of 2018.

Will my child still receive teaching in single gender groups?

Any changes to the College to implement co-education will be introduced on a phased basis, starting with the Year 7 intake from September 2019.  In the meantime the College will continue to operate with single gender education.  Therefore, if your child is currently at the College, or is due to start secondary school next year, September 2018, they will continue to be educated under the existing College structure.

Will this affect the Sixth Form students?

The proposal for co –education does not directly affect the existing sixth form, as it is co-educational.

Will this affect teaching and performance for the existing students?

Preparations for a move to co-education (if it goes ahead) will not affect the current pupils. Additional resource has been provided by the Academy Trust (The Kemnal Academies Trust, TKAT) to support the governors, Headteacher and senior staff through this process.  Other resources will be provided during the process as required to ensure that senior leaders are not taken away from focusing on the performance of existing pupils.

Why make the school co-educational?

We recognise that we are removing an option of parents in the local area to choose a single sex school for their children; however there are a number of single sex schools in the area.  We believe a co-educational school is necessary to ensure the school remains viable and sustainable into the future.  This may put the resulting school into competition with the other co-educational schools in the area. However, there is a wealth of experience amongst the staff that will be retained and the College will be more able to achieve its overarching objectives, namely becoming a fully inclusive school and also serving its local community.   Whilst there has been some evidence to show that boys/girls perform better in some subjects when taught separately, current research shows that this is not as clear cut as widely thought and that quality of teaching is the most relevant factor to pupils experience and achievement. In order to make this proposed change a success there will need to be investment in the infrastructure of the College. With the support of the Trust, these changes will improve the College experience of both current and future pupils.

How will the process be managed?

We believe that it is important to manage any change properly, particularly in this situation where we need to ensure that the education of the existing pupils is paramount. TKAT have appointed a project manager to assist with this process, and the College will be supported by educational, human resource and finance specialists. The Senior Leadership staff will not be taken away from teaching, or their focus on managing the College, to attend numerous meetings. The various stages in the process will be carefully planned and executed, supported by a rigorous analysis of any potential risks, so that any preventative action can be taken to ensure a seamless transition.

What size will the new school be?

The College can currently admit 210 students in Year 7.  Currently, there are approximately 120 Year 7s on roll.  This proposed change does not involve the Pupil Admission Number (PAN) and therefore the overall capacity of the College.