County Council's Cabinet Member for School Organisation, Leyland
Ridings, has asked for a public consultation in order to decide
the future of Eden Valley School in Edenbridge. This 11 - 18 wide
ability school has, for many years, attracted only a small proportion
of the local children. Pupil numbers are currently 230 and are projected
to fall to 200 in September 2002 and below that in 2003. The projection
is based upon the number of parents known to be choosing Eden Valley
School in Year 7 and the number of older students who will be completing
their studies and therefore leaving the school.
The diminishing pupil numbers will have two major effects: sharply
reduced funding for the school, and increasing difficulty in maintaining
the full curriculum for students. In turn, both of these factors
make it progressively more difficult to attract teachers to the
this, Her Majesty's Inspectors have stated that Special Measures
are required for Eden Valley School because it is likely, in the
near future, to be unable to provide a satisfactory standard of
education for its pupils.
Inspectors paid tribute to the excellent work done by Acting Headteacher,
Sara Kemsley, and her team of staff at Eden Valley School. They
also acknowledge the important contribution of the two linked schools,
Tonbridge Grammar School for Girls and Chiddingstone Primary School,
and the support of Kent LEA, to the progress that Eden Valley School
has recently made.
the best efforts of the staff and the LEA, a majority of parents
living locally are choosing to send their children to other schools.
With falling pupil numbers, budget difficulties and problems in
recruiting and retaining teachers, the school now faces the imminent
prospect of being unable to provide an acceptable standard of education
for its pupils," the Inspectors' report says.
Local Education Authority will be organising a full public consultation,
including a public meeting at which parents and members of the community
can express their views