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Kent schools named among South East's best by Sunday Times Schools Guide


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Five Kent schools have been named among the best in the South East, according the one of the country's most followed surveys.

Schools in Tonbridge, Sevenoaks, Dartford and Tunbridge Wells feature in the top state secondary schools and top independent schools, as listed by Parent Power, The Sunday Times Schools Guide.

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Published online today, the guide puts Tonbridge Grammar School second in the top 10 state secondary schools in the region, while Dartford Grammar is fourth, the Judd School in Tonbridge is fifth and Tunbridge Wells Girls' Grammar School is ninth.

Of Kent's independent schools, only Sevenoaks School makes the top 10 in the South East, and is listed fifth.

No Kent schools feature in the top 10 primary schools of the region.

Elsewhere in the South East, Reading School is named best state secondary school, Lowbrook Academy in Maidenhead is named the top primary school,

Guildford High Junior School is named "independent preparatory school of the decade" and St Andrew's Catholic School wins "comprehensive school of the year".

Stock image. Image from Thinkstock
Stock image. Image from Thinkstock

The 29th edition of Parent Power identifies the highest-achieving schools in the UK, ranked by their examination results from 2017-19.

As well as assessment of academic results, Parent Power enables parents to compare the performance of a given school with other schools in the same town, local authority or nationally. There are also links to school websites and inspection reports.

The rankings in the secondary school league tables are determined by the average percentage of examination entries in the three years, 2017-19, gaining A* to B grades at A-level (which is given a double weighting) and the average percentage of entries returning 9-7 or A* and A grades at GCSE.

Only schools that published their results in those years or disclosed them to The Sunday Times have been included in this edition of The Sunday Times Schools Guide, which includes around 1,700 schools. Examination outcomes from 2020 and 2021 have not been used in determining this year’s Parent Power rankings.

Alastair McCall, editor of Parent Power, said: “The need for clarity about school examination performance has never been greater after two years of teacher assessed grades, during which for completely understandable reasons, the numbers of top grades increased dramatically.

“We felt it was important to go back to the last sets of moderated public examination outcomes from 2019, 2018 and 2017 to get the most accurate and current view of school academic achievement. By taking a three-year average, we mitigated against relatively poor performance in a one-off year.

“At a time when some schools are making hard to substantiate claims of academic prowess based on outcomes from 2021 and 2020, we believe these rankings – and all the additional information on offer in Parent Power – provide parents with a more reliable guide to academic achievement in schools today.”

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