Did your school make the top 150 list?
by William Mata | 30th November 2018
GRAMMAR and private schools have again scored highly in latest league tables, but headteachers have insisted they are not exam factories.
Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells have respectively contributed three and two secondaries to the 150 top state schools ranked in The Sunday Times’ Parent Power list last week.
These are Tonbridge Grammar School , The Judd School , Tunbridge Wells Girls’ Grammar School  The Skinners’ School [58 equal] and Weald of Kent Grammar School [98 equal].
And the leaderboard, complied from amalgamating A Level and GCSE results from 2018 leavers, also featured Tonbridge School  and Benenden School  in the 150 top independent schools list.
With all these institutions also making the 2017 list, the Times asked their headteachers what their policies are and if selective schools are at an advantage.
Edward Wesson, Headmaster of The Skinners’ School in Tunbridge Wells, said: “We all work hard for exams and think we should be higher up a list, we aim to be so in 2019.
“But I am adamant exam results are not an absolute priority. We value sporting, cultural and personal development very highly indeed.”
He added: “If grammar schools are going to add value then they should dominate such lists given that they are selective at their point of entry. So it must be said that such lists give an oblique angle on school performance.
“Tunbridge Wells is fortunate in having outstanding grammar and outstanding non-selective schools in which all pupils can realise their potential.”
Benenden School Headmistress Samantha Price said: “We are pleased but are not supporters of league tables are based purely on exam results. Independent schools are about so much more.”
James Priory, Headmaster of Tonbridge School, added: “We are delighted to see the boys’ hard work and achievements recognised in this year’s Parent Power tables.
“What the league tables don’t show, however, is just how rounded a Tonbridge education is. It means that the boys [also] gain valuable life skills during their time here.”