School gets thumbs up from community

    THE prospect of a new Church of England primary school in Tonbridge has proved popular with residents.

    The results of a public consultation on Bishop Chavasse, which is set to open in Tudeley Lane in September, showed that 86 per cent of the 171 respondents felt there was a need for a new Church of England primary school in the south of the town.

    The choice of location, adjacent to the Somerhill Green Housing Development, was equally as popular.

    The allocation of 25 per cent of places to children whose parents attend a Church of England proved to be more controversial, although the majority of respondents (76 per cent) favoured the prioritisation.

    The report highlighted one comment which read: “This is not a fair system. Parents lie to get their children into church schools and you are promoting elitism.”

    Others disagreed, with one participant arguing that the allocation of 15 places should actually be higher ‘as there is no other Church of England school in Tonbridge’.

    Ian Bauckham (left), Chief Executive of the Tenax Schools Trust, which will run the school, said: “This is an overwhelming vote of confidence in our plans for our new school that will serve south Tonbridge families and their children.”

    Last week, the Headteacher for the new school was announced. Mrs Donna Weeks will take charge from the beginning of the autumn term. She has previously taught at St John’s Church of England Primary School in Tunbridge Wells.

    The Tenax Schools Trust is also in charge of Bennett Diocesan Memorial Secondary School in Tunbridge Wells, where Mr Bauckham is Executive Headteacher.