Proposed third school for Kings Hill – The King’s Academy


Apr 16

A group of Kings Hill residents are putting together a Free School application to the government for a third primary school on Kings Hill at 6 Alexander Grove, formerly the University of Greenwich building.

There are currently two primary schools on Kings Hill but because are oversubscribed, Discovery school took an extra reception class of 30 in September 2010 and it now committed to doing the same for 2011 and 2012. Purpose-built classrooms will be erected and all this has pushed them severely over their capacity. This does not even take account of those parents whose children have not even been accepted for a Kings Hill School and have had to drive off to Mereworth, Ryarsh, Wateringbury and East Malling schools. The situation will only get worse as more houses are sold. After all, just the sibling intake alone each year, with so many young families, is formidable.

We propose a primary school that is distinguishable from the others for having a Christian ethos – not a faith school where children have to be Christians to be admitted, but something in line with the Woodard Schools www.woodardschools.org who are opening the St Augustine Academy in September 2012 at the Astor of Hever School in Maidstone. The excellent King’s School in Rochester is also affiliated to Woodard Schools.

We realise that with two excellent primary schools in Kings Hill, we would not propose anything less than a primary school of excellence.
Twitter: twitter.com/kingsacademykh
Email: thekingsacademykingshill@gmail.com
www.kingshilllife.com/kingsacademy
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/kingsacademy


48 Comments

  1. Tim

    April 18, 2011

    I know the situation with parents on Kings Hill not being able to send their children to the two very good Primary schools is painful. The solution should not be to open a third school though. As I understand it the issue could be better resolved if residents of Kings Hill were given priority over siblings of children living off of Kings Hill who attend the school, I am sure this will run and run and a medium term solution increasing capacity, and a longer term solution gauging the profile of population is probably a better one.

    The idea of using the Greenwich building is a good one, but this should be managed by one or both of the existing schools, not introducing another school. Personally I am not in favour of mixing religion and education, even though it is in vogue at the moment and would not be in favour of a faith, Christian or any other bias toward one of the major or any other religions.

    Now a secondary school for Kings Hill there’s a thought, given the rising age of the children….

  2. Lee

    April 20, 2011

    I know off children that attend Kings Hill primary school that live 7 miles away from Kings Hill.

    These children, do not or have never lived here.

    I even see every morning cars turning left and right off the A228 with Kings Hill uniformed children

    every school morning on my way to the bus stop at Gibson Drive.

    So this tells me they do not live in Kings Hill.

    Kings Hill needs to have schools without religion as the foundation, no xtian, no Islamic, no Jewish

    no church of England.

    We need schools that serve the local community.

    I am for a further independent school built that serves children with and without learning disabilities.

  3. Carla Loveday

    May 2, 2011

    Dear Tim and Lee

    Firstly, thank you for taking the time to read about the proposed primary school and to register your comments.

    My name is Carla Loveday and I am a member of the steering group for the third school, which since inception of the idea we have used the name ‘The King’s Academy’.

    To clarify the position with the current two schools, which I will point out all members of the steering group have children attending both of these excellent schools…

    Kings Hill Primary School is a two form entry school, as was The Discovery School until September 2010 when it took its first three form entry. This will be the case also for September 2011, 2012 and 2013. Mrs Farrell should be commended for her excellent management of very difficult circumstances for her and her team. They have come through this challenge admirably.

    However, the reality of the situation is that outdoor classrooms will need to be erected in the grounds of The Discovery School to support the increased numbers of pupils attending. I think that we will all agree that this is far from ideal and does not provide a permanent long term solution to the on-going development in Kings Hill.

    A third primary school was on the agenda for Kings Hill until, as I understand it, the public spending cuts started to be rolled out and the funds were no longer available from Kent County Council.

    What is possible is for a group of people, such as our steering group, to come together to make a free schools application which, if successful, would open in September 2012. Free schools are state-funded independent schools which are set up in areas where there is demonstrable demand. The first of these new schools will open this September, should you like to look around the internet and find out more about them.

    The steering group for The King’s Academy (if we are permitted to move forward with this name) is made up of five Kings Hill residents who are also parents and members of the three churches within and local to Kings Hill. We are gaining momentum and increased support on a daily basis, including those people holding the necessary skills, experience and political position to ensure that both the vision and curriculum of the school meets the highest standard possible.

    The curriculum is still in progress, but our vision anticipates that the Church of England curriculum would be adapted and applied. To go into this in-depth would make for an even longer comment, but in summary, our vision is to create a school which has solid foundations in the Christian faith but which is open to children of all or no faith at all.

    Our passion for the school is to support Kings Hill School and The Discovery School in the need to provide more primary school spaces in the development and offer the community a third option which is without the restraints of the national curriculum and can take a more holistic approach towards our children.

    Our vision for our community, our school, is to nurture and develop the children throughout their educational years. As a Christian steering group, we hope to provide the community with a primary school which teaches on gentle, but solid, Christian principles so as to allow the children to reach their potential, both academically and personally within their own unique identities.

    The curriculum will likely be a hybrid of both the Church of England and the National Curriculum, but with increased emphasis on the needs, ambitions and individuality of each child. This comes from the flexibility of an independent school to mould its curriculum and not be a slave to it.

    We want to provide our community with the option of sending their children to such a school, where we have the flexibility to not just deliver the academic content but to really focus on each child as an individual and take them on a journey to teach them about themselves – their identity as a young person.

    The King’s Academy is our school – your school – a community for a community. The door is open for all to join us and we would love to hear for anyone who has questions or would like to become involved. We plan to set up some public events so the community can meet us and our website is currently being developed.

    In the meantime, please feel free to email the steering group at thekingsacademykingshill@gmail.com.

    We welcome everyone’s comments and whilst we accept that not everyone will be agreeable with our Christian roots, we sincerely hope that our community will be supportive of an independent curriculum offering a third choice of primary education and a school, which the steering group will ensure is managed by the right principal designate and governors.

    My last notes to make are that addressing the needs of supporting our children with learning difficulties and the pressing urgency of secondary education are also being considered by the steering group. What we don’t want to do is make promises that we can’t keep or try to provide a school which covers too great an age range.

    The steering group is committed to helping our community with its educational needs, so if it isn’t possible to cover secondary education within this free schools application there is nothing to say that it’s not a possibility for a future application.

    I apologise for such a long comment, but I wanted to show interest to your comments and offer you a detailed response rather than just a snippet of a comment.

    In addition to emailing the steering group, readers of this site might also like to take a look at organisations such as The Woodard Schools, Emmanuel Schools and Oasis Schools. These are very successful, high achieving schools which are well established and provide their children with the education and pastoral care that we would love to offer the children of Kings Hill. The steering group shares their visions and ethos.

    Have a wonderful day.
    Best regards

    Carla Loveday
    The King’s Academy Steering Group

  4. Lee

    May 2, 2011

    Well thanks for your comments.

    If you need a masters educated lady with experience in special needs and her masters is in

    Special needs and Inclusive education, then email me at Green@live.co.uk

    I know she is looking for a new challenge.

    She lives 5 minutes walk form Alexander Grove.

  5. Jas

    May 3, 2011

    I too am completely against public funding for any and all “religious schools” of any type. This is not where a single penny of public tax funds should be spent, in my opinion.

  6. Sacha

    May 4, 2011

    I am agnostic and I believe every school in Britain should take any child, whatever religion.

    Religion is a belief and some are cults.

    Religion should be removed from schools and it’s upto the parents to deal with it.

    I went to school (being from London) with Muslims, Jews, Catholics, Atheists, Hindus etc and

    my school was C Of E.

    We got on fine.

    I wanted my daughter to join a group which uses discovery school for their meetings.

    It is Kings Hill girls brigade, however they will only take xtian girls.

    That is discrimination.

    I don’t understand how only xtian children can goto Kings Hill schools.

    That is against the law.

    I doubt they even attend church anyway, all the parents of the children I know that goto Kings Hill school

    do not attend church unless it is a wedding or a xtning.

  7. John

    May 4, 2011

    It’s not only Christian kids at Kings Hill School. Mine go there. And I’m a Satanist.

    Joke.

  8. Carla Loveday

    May 5, 2011

    Dear Jas and Sacha

    Thanks for your comments. The Steering Group is very interested to hear your views. Might I ease your concerns, and all readers of this blog, in relation to the issues you have raised?

    I will firstly state, however, and on behalf of my team, that we are unapologetically robust in our vision for a mainstream primary school with a Christian ethos. We are Christians and we have a strong faith that the content and delivery of teaching at our proposed school will serve each child well and prepare them for their transition to secondary school.

    We are peaceful people and I would politely ask that this blog is not misused as a religious debate. We are respectful of your views and beliefs and I would ask that you show the same. Collection of our taxes comes from all people, irrespective of their faith or absence of it. Surely, then, it is justified that public funds be used to the benefit of all areas in our society?

    As much as you have the right to choose to send your child to a secular school, equally, people of any faith have the right to educate their children in a school supporting those beliefs where such school is an option. If our application is approved, there will be three primary schools in Kings Hill; two of which are secular. The community will simply have increased choice and more significantly, the chance to gain a place for their child in a Kings Hill school rather than have to travel outside of the development.

    The Christian ethos that we aim to achieve is one of humanity: to achieve a standard of not only academic success for each child but also to help each child find their identity and moral compass through the gentle principles of Christian faith.

    For readers update, we have been advised, since my last comment, that to set a curriculum based on both the National Curriculum and the Creative Curriculum (The Rose Report) would deliver our vision effectively and would lend itself well to the Christian ethos. You are all welcome to come back to us with any questions, having looked these curriculums up. We see this application as our act of service to the community; to set up a school community for the community so we welcome feedback.

    Our admissions policy will follow that of Kent County Council and whilst the over subscription policy needs to be diligently considered, our school will hold out welcome arms to all children of all faiths or no faith. To be clear, a child does not need to be a Christian to apply for a place at our school, should the application be approved.

    With regard to the point raised about Kings Hill Girls’ Brigade, this is a Christian organisation linked to the Church of England and for the benefit of young girls growing up in the Christian faith.

    There is no doubt as to the need in Kings Hill for a third primary school. The fact that we are submitting an application for one with a Christian ethos, I genuinely hope will not detract focus from that need. I urge readers to research the references that I have made in these comments as an aide to help us share our vision with you.

    Any member of the Steering Group would gladly speak to anyone with questions or concerns. Our website will be launched very shortly, through which will keep you all fully updated.

    God bless.
    Carla

  9. Richard Long

    May 6, 2011

    I am the County Councillor for Malling Rural East, which includes Kings Hill. Some people will know that I worked with parents last year to get additional capacity opened at the Discovery School. I follow the development of the primary schools closely.

    As Kings Hill gets bigger we need even more capacity. The County Council knows this and are planning for it. In an ideal world the County Council would build a third school. However in the present climate there is just not enough money for this. The County Council plan is therefore to place mobile classrooms on the existing school sites. I know that some children attend the existing Schools from outside Kings Hill. This is mainly the result of applying the admission criteria that is set for all Kent Schools which allows siblings of children from outside Kings Hill who were admitted before the schools became oversubscribed to have preference. I do not think we can do much much about this. If I was a parent in this position I would not think it fair to have to take my second child to a different school.

    The government’s initiative for Free Schools offers a chance for something better than this and I intend to work with the Kings Academy team. I have asked my colleagues at KCC to work with them and help them and this is happening. There is a lot to do and some challenges to overcome but the prospect of a much needed third school makes it worth the effort.

    As there are already two completely secular primary schools I welcome a bit of diversity of provision. We are all familiar with Church of England Schools and a school which is open to people of all faiths and none. For anyone who wishes especially to avoid religion, two out of three primary schools will still be secular. I am sure the intention is to offer a mainstream education with Christian ethical values, not a ‘religious’ education, and this will suit most people. If any other grouping wants to apply to start a free school I would be happy to work with them as well.

    I am always keen to hear all views from the people who elect me to the County Council. Anyone can email me on the email address below. I generally attend Parish Council meetings if anyone wants to meet me.

    Richard
    richard.long1@kent.gov.uk

  10. Tim

    May 6, 2011

    I appreciate the issues are hard and that money is tight, however this approach is making me feel very uneasy. I am very interested and we have one child of 2.5 and another of 6 months

    The free school experiment has already been judged a failure in Sweden where the Swedish Education minister cautioned the British Government not to pursue it. I believe the same is true of other countries where it is being examined, certainly many teaching bodies are not in favour…or are very concerned the policy will create further inequality in the choice of education. I worry that the reallocation of resources will be at the expense of the current schools.

    It also seems that the provision of secular (separate from religion) means more diversity as all the children will mix together and experience each others backgrounds and views without an ethos that is biased toward a single religion. Personally I do not want my children to avoid religion I want them to understand it fully and if they want to follow one of the many creeds available they can make up their minds when they are adults. This education can be done in RE classes covering all religions.

    Kings Hill has been growing steadily for years the second child policy situation has been understood for a long time, this hasn’t crept up on the authorities it just hasn’t been dealt with.

  11. Carla Loveday

    May 6, 2011

    Dear Tim

    We do understand that the issue of free schools is a contentious one but, simply put, where there is a choice of doing nothing about a situation which our community is unhappy with and the choice of trying to do something to help everyone; the steering group has chosen the latter. There is no local educational authority money for the third school, but there is central government funding which the free application can gain access to.

    Between us, we have eight children currently in primary education and they all attend one or the other of the current Kings Hill schools. This application has never been an issue of standards within Kings Hill School or The Discovery School, nor an attack on them or attempt to compete with them. Neither has it been aimed at fragmentation of the school population by way of delivering education through the Christian ethos. We are simply addressing a need within the community and trying extremely hard to provide a solution, and one that can improve upon the need for mobile classrooms to be erected within the grounds of our current schools.

    There are parents within the community who would like their children to attend a school with a Christian ethos. The evidence of that parental demand is the names on our surveys and the offers of support and encouragement that the steering group is receiving on a daily basis.

    The nuts and bolts of it are that a free school application will only be approved, subject to meeting other requirements, if there is demonstrable parental demand. In our application, we need to provide a list of parents with children of the relevant age equivalent, as a minimum, to 50% enrolment in the first two years of operation. The statistics we collect will be the voice of our community and a voice which, living in a democratic society, has the right to be heard.

    If our application is approved to move to pre-opening stage, which we won’t know until this September, the Government will support the steering group with the funding and expertise to set up the school over the year leading up to opening in September 2012. This means that we will be provided with a dedicated project lead from the Department for Education.

    We will also carry out a statutory consultation with the community. This will allow everyone the further opportunity to ask questions about the school and to find out much more in-depth information about it. Again, this will be a chance for the community to have a voice and be heard.

    I want to make sure that everyone is clear that the steering group is not proposing to run the school. We are simply the proposer group to the application and it will be our responsibility to ensure that the right principal designate (head teacher) and governors are appointed who hold the requisite knowledge, skills and experience to run the school and take it forward. For example, the proposed curriculum is not being written by non-educational specialists. The lead for our education team has fifteen years’ experience as a head teacher prior to appointment as a schools inspector. In addition to this, as Richard Long noted, Kent County Council are also working with us to ensure that we get the detail right.

    The first free school applications were given final approval earlier this year and these will begin to open in September 2011. We are in contact with two proposer teams whose applications were approved. This is of huge benefit to us as we can learn from the experiences of these other groups and from the first year in which free schools begin to open.

    My aim is not to win everyone over to the idea of free schools or schools with a Christian ethos. I’m asking, on behalf of the steering group, that the community at the very least has an open mind to these concepts in current financial climate where without the free school; Kings Hill will not gain the third primary school that I constantly hear people saying it needs.

    As for the situation we are in, there is no benefit to finger pointing. We just need to be realistic and pragmatic in our approach, as a united community, in how to deal with the problem of over subscription in our primary schools and support the respective head teachers, of Kings Hill Primary School and The Discovery School, and their teams in accommodating the increasing demands upon their schools.

    Best regards
    Carla

  12. Tim

    May 7, 2011

    Hi Carla,

    There is clearly a lot of momentum around this and you and others have put time and thought into the proposal. And, you do have the support of people like Richard Long to carry this forward. I wish you luck with this endeavour and I would say that I am always open minded. This is an open forum and you did post the plans to begin a debate not just to notify so I hope you appreciate the comments.

    This is the however though, be aware that many people like myself will have grave misgivings and doubts over this. The major reasons will be over the very nature of Free schools being a dilution of the existing provision, the mixing of Religion and Education (you may have guessed that I believe that this is fundamentally wrong) making many people uneasy, the bizarre nature of funding that removes it from the existing provision but retains it for what is in essence , an experiment.

    As for finger pointing, I would really like to know why a process was not put in place a long time ago to address the current situation. Maybe a little constructive finger pointing would help to ameliorate this current situation or better facilitate future ones.

    I will watch the progress with interest and the nature of the new school if it materialises. Do you know if any other proposals have been put forward in Kings Hill. It would be fair to give people a choice of which type of free school gained the funding if a free school is the only pragmatic option.

    Best

    Tim

  13. Jas

    May 7, 2011

    Carla,

    I remain of the firm belief that tax money should not be used to support ANY religious school, whether it be “Christian”, Catholic, Muslim or whatever religion.

    I have absolutely no objection to privately funded religious schools, as it is up to parents who wish to pay for such an education to be able to do so.

    I simply do not consider it an appropriate use of tax i.e. public funds. The reasons are far too numerous to post here, but should be very obvious to most people.

  14. Simon

    May 7, 2011

    Kent free schools website live. Please check for more information.

    http://www.kentfreeschools.co.uk/

  15. Carla

    May 8, 2011

    Hi Tim and Jas

    You are absolutely right that this is a public forum for comments, which is why we wanted a discussion on this site. It is important to us that your views are heard and taken into account while we are still at the stage of preparing the application.

    My previous responses were really aimed at trying to keep this dicussion focused on the real issue. We need a third primary school in Kings Hill and we are proposing to open one with a Christian ethos. The more this discussion focuses on that, the more we all get out of it, so I am really grateful for your latest posts.

    The Steering Group are up against a demanding deadline and a strenuous process to walk through in order for the application to be approved. The website is now live but please excuse it’s appearance whilst we work to get all the content up. We plan to have a whole section up there on free schools to help everyone gain an understanding of what these are. Please, once the content is all loaded and you think there is something more that you need to know, tell us and we can improve the website.

    I do know that a free school has not yet been approved in Kent but there is no way of knowing whether other groups are putting forward an application this year. We have not been made aware by Kent County Council that anyone else is working on an application.

    Hopefully the website will give everyone a better feel for what we are trying to achieve and, if our application gets that far, the statutory consultation will offer the community a much closer look at how we plan for the school to be run, the education plan and the financial aspects.

    For now, we are working around the clock trying to make sure that the application is submitted in time (by 5pm on 1 June 2011). Any offers of support, practical help or ideas to contribute would all be gratefully received.

    What we really need to keep momentum with is the parental demand. We have only one shot at this and the parental demand is the community’s chance to speak. Please email us if you will be applying for a primary school place for your child starting school in September 2012 or 2013 and you would indicate Kings Christian School (we have changed the name) as an option. If you have a child already in primary school outside of Kings Hill and Kings Christian School would offer you an opportunity to educate your child in Kings Hill or under the Christian ethos, please email us. This information will help us understand how many classes the school would need to open with.

    I would just ask the community this. Please have an open mind to this. It might not be the ideal solution for many but it is a solution that are trying very hard to make a possibility for Kings Hill because without it we remain without the third school. Where there is suspicion, we are completely transparent and welcome questions from anyone.

    Have a great day.
    Carla

  16. JC

    May 10, 2011

    ‘I want to make sure that everyone is clear that the steering group is not proposing to run the school. We are simply the proposer group to the application and it will be our responsibility to ensure that the right principal designate (head teacher) and governors are appointed who hold the requisite knowledge, skills and experience to run the school and take it forward.’ This comment from one of the steering group makes me even more ueasy about the project than I already was. Schools are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain both headteachers and governors. The workload and responsibility delegated to both (and governors are volunteers) has increased massively over the past few years. I have spoken to quite a number of current and past governors on the issue of being a governor in a new free school and all expressed a very strong reluctance in becoming involved in a new free school citing the unknown quantity of government support, the failure of the free school system elsewhere in the world and the uncertainty of the future running of such a school.
    Whilst there is a need for additional primary school places on Kings Hill at the moment, surely the steering group’s first task should be to engage Liberty, the Health Service (who know the local birth rates) and KCC in carrying out a comprehensive review of the needs going forward. If we look at phase 1 of Kings Hill we can learn that (funnily enough!) these children move on to need secondary school places and are not moving off Kings Hill. We need to gauge where the development’s stable state will be, and target our efforts at that long-term state.

  17. admin

    May 10, 2011

    Gary Cooke, Gary Cooke, Deputy Cabinet Member – Education, Learning & Skills, Kent County Council said on the radio that they had conducted a MORI poll to gather this data and it was incorrect, so this work has been done professionally already.

  18. tim reason

    May 11, 2011

    Sorry Admin could you clarify?

  19. admin

    May 11, 2011

    Sure, it was just that Gary Cooke said on the radio that they had conducted a Mori poll into the birth rates and likely primary needs for Kings Hill and that came up with an underprojection which is partly why we are in the situation we are in now. I am sure neither Liberty or KCC wanted to find themselves so ‘caught short’ and it seems they have attempted to gauge it and the professional research has proved incorrect.

  20. Tim

    May 11, 2011

    Ah, understood thanks for the clarification.

  21. Maria

    May 11, 2011

    Richard Long, I am a parent at The Discovery School and noticed that you said there is a plan to put mobile classrooms on the existing school sites the implication being both The Discovery School and Kings Hill School. Can you therefore explain why it is only The Discovery School which is going to have the mobile classrooms. I believe the official response from the council is that Kings Hill School has the wrong kind of land for mobile classrooms – I’m intrigued as to how their land differs from any other land on Kings Hill. It would also be nice to know where our children are going to be expected to sit for assembly, lunch etc as the hall is already far too small. Rather than backing a free school perhaps you should be campaigning to have one of the many unused buildings/the land designated for a new pub opposite The Discovery School used as an annex for one or both of the existing schools here.

  22. Resident

    May 11, 2011

    Richard,
    Am I incorrect in presuming that KCC are vocally supporting the campaign for a free school funded from central government as this removes the burden of funding from KCC? I also presume that Liberty would welcome the rental income on an empty building rather than the allocation of valuable housing land for a school – looks to be a win win situation to me.

    The losers are our children.

    Looking ahead a few years, with two or three primary schools turning out thee or more forms of 30 children each with few choices of secondary school perhaps now is the time to act. Why not plan now so that when more funding is available it can be spent on the right services?

  23. Dave

    May 13, 2011

    Not only have the residents have had to deal with Forces Estate’s proposal recently with about 64 new allotments, which they withdrew due to pressure from residents and one of the grounds were that it would saturate our already over populated schools but this proposal if it comes to fruitition now will give them more intention to build more houses out of the planned proposal liberty originally came up with on kings hill. It’s catch 22!!!

  24. Misc

    May 16, 2011

    I’m in two minds about the 3rd school, as a parent of 3 I am feeling more pressure and stress re. the whole school situation. I agree something needs to be done, but can’t help feel that the 3rd proposed Free school is only going to ease the pressure for KCC and Liberty. As a resident I am disgusted with Liberty and KCC for their total lack of foresight and understanding of this area. We’ve know for years that a new school would eventually be needed both primary and secondary and yet still heads are stuck in the sand and left to residents/parents to sort. I have nothing but respect for those parents who have made this new school a possibility and fully give them all my support and wish them every success.

    My concerns are How many children can the new school cope with at any one time? And with more NEW homes on the horizon are we going to be in the same place in a few years time, only with mobile class rooms at the new school as well as The Discovery School. I commend Mrs Farrall and her staff for their hard work, enthusiasm and commitment to The Discovery School, they have NOT had an easy job but WILL NO DOUBT carry on and cope marvellously with whatever is thrown at them. However as a concerned parent I HAVE registered my youngest daughter to The Kings Christian School, she is set to start school in 2012 (hopefully with Sibling rights to Discovery) but I can’t help feel that as we live near ASDA and the intake at Discovery is SO high (for the next few years at least) that our chances of actually getting a place in Discovery is jeopardised or the education of my daughter compromised by the pressure put upon it. I for one miss the Community feel that Discovery used to have and only hope that this can be achieved in the new school!

    Good luck! :0)

  25. KH Resident

    August 3, 2011

    Having lived on Kings Hill before we had any schools I am not sure what the fuss is all about? There are plenty of Schools around us. I had to travel by bus to my primary school as a child, not everyone had cars and anyway it was seen as quite normal. There is little need for a new school until all the schools in the area are oversubscribed and I am not aware that this is the case? A secondary School is a more interesting proposition but again if it is to the detriment of existing provision, is it a good idea? A new secondary school would almost certainly be a comprehensive school and would need significant land for sports facilities etc, land that is probably not available.

    I understand that the application has been turned down now so we should concentrate on making our schools better but remember freedom of choice means that you cant keep whats on The Hill just for residents

  26. Outskirts

    August 5, 2011

    Interesting reading in the paper today. Although I have never supported any religious schools it is sad to see the hard work not pay off in this case. It’s brave to go to the efforts seen and those involved should be congratulated for what they have done. If it was successful I would not have sent my kids to this Christian school but would have benefited from more space at the other schools. It would have been win-win irrespective of religious beliefs.

    I note the reason for the application being declined was quote (Malling Chronicle) “Their dream was crushed by the Department of Education, which claimed the idea did not reach out to enough different community groups”. Do I read from this that the Christian Ethos was the reason for it failing? Perhaps another group may put forth a proposal next year that does touch the wider community groups? I could be tempted to get involved myself.

  27. Angela vincent

    August 6, 2011

    No it was not the Christian aspect they said they had a problem with, it was more linked to the quite specific demographic of kings hill. They were at the stage of comparing the application against other free school applications and it was about not being able to demonstrate the school would be reaching a broad enough group for the high cost of the building.

  28. Jas

    August 8, 2011

    Malling Chronicle = a work of fiction :)

    Highly emotive and biased style of writing too i.e. “their dream was crushed”

  29. Tracy

    November 8, 2011

    I know this is sometime after the event but in browsing through these comments I noticed someone make this comment:

    ‘I wanted my daughter to join a group which uses discovery school for their meetings.

    It is Kings Hill girls brigade, however they will only take xtian girls.

    That is discrimination.’

    I am a Lieutenant in the Girls’ Brigade (I’m not based at 1st Kings Hill Company) and also a leader in the Boys’ Brigade and must point out that this statement is untrue.

    Yes, both Brigades are Christian organisations. There is nothing whatsoever illegal or discriminatory in any faith running a youth group( or prayer group, or study group or whatever group for whatever age).

    The Brigades absolutely DO NOT refuse to let a child or young person join unless they are from a Christian family. It goes against everything the Brigades stand for to do so. Yes, we are Christian in our approach- and actively so. We make it very clear to parents that this is the case. It is up to the parent whether or not they are happy with this. The Brigades accept children and young people of any or no faith. Speaking from personal experience the majority of our young people come from families with no church background or particular faith. We have children of all ethnicities, backgrounds and abilities.I know personally of a company with a young girl whose family background is paganism. Her parents are happy to send her along to GB even though the faith aspect is different from their own.

    I know the Captain of the Kings Hill GB Company and there is no way she would refuse a girl because she wasn’t a Christian.

    I rather suspect that it’s a misunderstanding or a case of the parent here not being willing to accept the Christian ethos of GB- which is a very different thing than saying this company will only let Christians join.

    I apologise for hi-jacking this somewhat but I’m afraid I could not let such a statement remain uncorrected.

  30. admin

    November 8, 2011

    You are correct, I know the Girls’ Brigade very well and they are most definitely inclusive so a point well made.

  31. Sacha

    November 8, 2011

    It’s a fact that the Girls Brigade is a xtian only organisation.

    I was told this by the group leader at Kings Hill and also the head office.

    Read their site for yourself:

    http://www.thegirlsbrigade.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=2&Itemid=3

    The Girls Brigade is a Christian, international interdenominational organisation working alongside girls and young women in many countries.

    Since our foundation in 1893, Girls Brigade has become well known as a fun, interesting, challenging and relevant provider of activities, skills, care and Christian love for hundreds of thousands of young people.

    See how many times the word xtian is mentioned.

  32. Sacha

    November 8, 2011

    I will also mention (as I forgot to write it down), quoted from the person that answered the telephone at the girls brigade head office, we expect our girls to attend a church on a regular basis and take part in xtian activities when need be.

  33. admin

    November 8, 2011

    They are expected to go to church several times a year although there are monthly parades, they do not have to go to all. As the other lady said, it has a CHristian ethos so it should not be surprising. It does not require a girl to be a Christian to join though.

  34. KHYM

    November 10, 2011

    As a former warrant officer in GB I can categorically say that fellowship was not solely christian. Yes, we expected those in our care and guidance to come to church parade and certainly did bible study – however, at no point were girls ‘forced’ to undertake the joining of a christian church. The motto of the GB is ‘seek, serve and follow’ and teachings were always around having more respect for others; working as a team and having good moral values.

    Adopting Christian values as an organisation is not discriminatory – how them would you explain denominational schools? There are a plethora of organisations which only welcome other faiths and make this quite clear from their literature. It seems to me that perhaps as a society we are overly fearful of sticking up for Christian values – let’s face it, Christianity is the most popular religion in the world with over 2 billion adherents. 42 million Britons see themselves as nominally Christian, and there are 6 million who are actively practising.

    Being asked to go to Church and take part in ‘Chrsitian Activities’ (Christmas anyone!?!) isn’t exactly extremism – is it!?!

  35. Grant

    November 10, 2011

    I have no real knowledge of the history behind Girls Brigade or the Boys Brigade much to my ignorance suffice to say that I know they embrace, empower young people to become all that they can be, seeing & reaching their potential, providing guidance, direction and to love, respect and serve others with a message and faith that is so relevant today.

    Irrespective of what peoples perspective is of the GB, in my humble opinion young people are crying out for something other than hanging out on street corners, redecorating the front of ASDA etc and for people to take an interest in them, to understand them, allow them a voice not to fear them or right them off. At the end of the day it’s the parents choice whether or not they want their daughter or son attending these groups.

  36. Christian

    November 10, 2011

    Dear Sacha

    Visiting this website, I often see your comments and they generally tend to be very negative and angry where Christianity is concerned. This is just my perception.

    Christian education, youth groups, social groups etc. These are no different to any other religion whereby fellowship is vitally important. If anything, the Christian community is very flexible and welcoming to all of any or no faith and Girls’ Brigade is no exception.

    Might I suggest that you lay off giving people a hard time when they are working hard for the benefit of others, criticizing the faith of peaceful people who lead their lives in a way that serves others to the best of our ability and focus on yourself and where your negativity stems from? We are indeed a country of freedom of speach but we are also supposedly a respectful people.

    You’ll find Christianity Explored and Alpha courses across the county and in London. Go and find out what we are really about, come to Church on a Sunday a meet us, and then let’s have an educated discussion on here.

  37. Sacha

    November 10, 2011

    I suggest you realise that Britain is a secular society and not a xtian society.

    Britain is really a pagan country.

    You talk about welcoming. You are preaching at me and telling me what to do.

  38. admin

    November 11, 2011

    I think you might actually be preaching your position more strongly Sacha!

  39. Sacha

    November 11, 2011

    Admin, when are you going to upgrade wordpress?

  40. Emily James

    December 9, 2011

    Dear Sacha

    Reading your comments above, I wanted to leave my own response especially as we are presently in the time of Advent.

    I pray that you will be blessed with finding your own relationship with God and that this Christmas your gift will be finding its real meaning. For all of the many comments above, the Christian faith is simply about relationship.

    God created us so that He could have relationship with us. Whilst there are many who do not believe in this truth, it is also accurate to say that even if only one person believed; His existence is no less true than if the entire population believed today. We once all came from Him and God commissions His followers to go after those sons and daughters who are lost in the hope that you might return to Him.

    We live in a broken world as a fallen humanity, stumbling around searching for unconditional, unfaltering, all-consuming love and the sadness in that is that, for all our flaws God loves us as His children regardless. You have eyes, yet you do not see Him.

    Please do not misunderstand my intentions here. They are nothing more than to offer a little insight and to simplify things; when you consider relationship and love, forgiveness and understanding; is our faith really that unbelievable?

    It’s your choice and your journey. God gave us freewill so that we could choose Him.

    God bless you.
    Emily

  41. sacha

    December 10, 2011

    To Emily.

    I suggest you stop taking mind bending drugs ans stay off the hard liquor.

    Xmas is a pagan festival hijacked by the xtians.

    If you bothered to read the scriptures, Jesus, your messiah was born in the summer.

    G-d has no sexuality.

    If you believe all that ‘old mother Hubbard’ about a d00d giving up a rib to create a chick, then

    you must understand also that Cain and Able had intercourse with their mother.

    You are a bigot.

    I am an agnostic.

  42. admin

    December 11, 2011

    I posted this just prove how offensive your agnostic views actually are!

  43. Tim

    December 12, 2011

    Emily James, Sacha and Admin and others, would you all tone it down a little please. The comments and sniping on this site make the discussions look much more like a bunch of adolescents on “you tube” than an area that Kings Hill residents can rationally discuss services, schools, clubs, transport and alike. It drives away people and stops them from making any comments that will result in them being kids in a playground, preached at or insulted. It’s a real shame.

  44. admin

    December 12, 2011

    Fine, good point, I actually meant Sacha’s particular agnostic viewpoint. I will just moderate them away next time…I should have done so last time. Sacha, feel free to comment on the general run of things and make useful contributions but no more offensive remarks please.

  45. Jas

    December 12, 2011

    Sacha,

    You really should read over what you’ve written in response to Emily, and reflect on it.

    I can’t recall ever reading such a hostile and offensive response to a friendly and benign message (Emily’s).

  46. Tim

    December 12, 2011

    I give up

  47. Kings Hill Worm

    May 11, 2012

    Tim and Jas

    Wonderful, i agree with the points that you have raised 100%, and do not think that any further input is required in the areas that you have examined and commented on.

    I do find the colourful language used by the Christian proposers most amusing. “robust” and ” passionate”, interspersed amongst their facts.
    The language seems almost programmed, as if they had been brainwashed in some way?

    Are these guys, perhaps seeking some kind of absolution for past sins?

    Tim and Jas; good stuff.

  48. MA

    November 21, 2012

    We are considering moving to Kings Hill but dont want to move there and get no place for my 2 primary school kids. What is happening with 3rd school for Kings Hill? Have the council decided?
    Thanks


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