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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Kennet School
The shield of Kennet School
Stoney Lane

, ,
RG19 4LL

Coordinates51°24′05″N 1°14′55″W / 51.4015°N 1.2487°W / 51.4015; -1.2487
Department for Education URN136647 Tables
HeadmistressGemma Piper
Age11 to 18
Colour(s)Navy blue and gold
PublicationKennet News (1975–1990)
Kennet Chronicle (2002–2004)

Kennet School is an academy secondary school in Thatcham, Berkshire, England. In 2011, Kennet was the highest achieving state school in West Berkshire using contextual value added results and third-highest using five good GCSEs.[1] The school has an annual income of just over £8.9 million and spends roughly £5,000 per student per year.[2]

The school opened on 11 September 1957 as a secondary modern, before converting into a comprehensive in 1971[3] and finally changing to an academy on 1 April 2011.[4] The school has 1,755 pupils on roll in years 7 to 11, 300[5] pupils attending sixth form (years 12 and 13) with 121 teachers and 78 non-teaching staff. The headmistress is Gemma Piper as of 2018.[6]

Kennet is one of few schools in England to have three specialisms: in September 2000 the school was given Technology College status. In February 2002 a new technology block was built on the north of the site to replace dispersed classrooms. In March 2005 the school received Arts College status[6] Most recently in April 2006 it was awarded the status of Language College.[7]


Kennet was awarded the Artsmark Gold by the Arts Council England in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2013; and the Platinum award in 2018.[8] It was also awarded the Sportsmark by Sport England in 2001.[9] The school was also awarded the Challenge Award by National Association for Able Children in Education on 22 November 2006 and re-accredited on in November 2010 and November 2017 respectively, as recognition for its efforts to support Able, Gifted and Talented pupils.[10] Kennet was only the 16th school in the country to receive the award at the time.

Teaching awards

The previous headmaster, Paul Dick (1989-2017) was appointed an OBE for Services to Education in the 2000 New Year Honours.[11] Paul Dick was also the Category Winner in 2001 in The Leadership Trust Award for School Leadership in a Secondary School in South of England.[12][13]

Members of staff receiving teaching awards:

  • Martyn Greenway, 2003 Distinction Award, The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School in the South of England[14]
  • Juli Morgan-Russell, 2003 Category Winner, The Guardian Award for Outstanding New Teacher in the South of England[15]
  • Sandra Baron, 2004 Category Winner, The Award for Teaching Assistant of the Year in South of England[16]
  • David Wootton, 2006 Commendation Award, The DfES Award for Governor of the Year in South of England[17]
  • Lisa Manning, 2009 Commendation Award, The Award for Teacher of the Year in a Secondary School in the South of England[18]
  • Dave Cath, 2012 Distinction Awards, Pearson Teaching Awards[19]

Sixth form

The sixth form block under construction
The sixth form block under construction

There is a sixth form at Kennet for students who wish to continue their education after the age of 16. The students have their own block that was constructed for the start of the 2007 academic year, which consists of a common area, where the sixth formers can socialise, a computer suite and the sixth form offices. There is also a section of the library provided for sixth form use only. The European Computer Driving Licence qualification can be studied with any sixth form course. Some sixth formers are appointed house captains after an application and selection process by the heads of houses. The captains organise teams for inter-house sports, music, debating, drama and art competitions.

Position Staff
Head of Sixth Form K. Odenwalder [20]
Head of Year 12 A. Wood
Head of Year 13 R. Tamale

Extracurricular activities


When students join the school they become a member of a house. The house system provides a structure for pastoral care and competition through sports (including amongst others rugby, netball athletics, football hockey), music, drama and day-to-day studies through the award of house points and commendations. Each house is overseen by a Head of House and their Deputy who co-ordinate the appointment of vice-prefects, prefects and house captains.

There are four houses at the school: Saint Patrick, Saint Michael, Saint Francis, and Saint David. Now defunct houses are Saint George and Saint Andrew, which were dissolved in the mid to late 1980s. Each house is associated with a colour as shown in the table below.

House Shield
St. David
Kennet St.David Shield.gif
St. Francis
Kennet St.Francais Shield.gif
St. Michael
Kennet St.Michael Shield.gif
St. Patrick
Kennet St.Patrick Shield.gif

Exchange visits

Each year the school organises exchanges to France and Germany. The pupils can go to France in year 9 and Germany in year 9 & 10. The foreign pupil staying with their exchange partner's family for 7–12 days, then vice versa later on. In 2011, Kennet School celebrated 30 years' twinning with the German school Melibokusschule, in Alsbach-Hähnlein.[21]


"Kennet News"

Kennet News' various logos
Kennet News' various logos

The Kennet News school newspaper was first issued in May 1975 at the price of two new pence and ran until the late eighties. Its original slogan was News as it happens – and sometimes before it happens!. It reported the departure of George Hurford[22] and the arrival of Terrence Enright[23] in 1978 and later the arrival[24] and departure[25] of Dr. Nicholas Wheeler-Robinson. Kennet News is now used as the name for a termly online newsletter created using Microsoft Sway.

Charity work

Each house chooses its own charity to support, and throughout the year each tutor group fundraises towards their house's target amount of money. For example, one of Saint Michael house's chosen charity was the Rwanda appeal. The senior staff sometimes plan one-off events, such as the Kennet (World) Cup to raise money for charity. This was a football event that occurred on 19 June 2006 in aid of the Bobby Moore Cancer Appeal. The event was designed to coincide with the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

School Council

Every tutor group has 2 representatives to the School Council, one male and one female.


In 2005 the school was criticised in the Office for Standards in Education (Ofsted) report for lacking 'a daily act of collective worship'[26] and not reporting pupils' ICT progress in years 10 and 11,[26] both of which are statutory requirements. All maintained English schools must provide daily worship that is broadly Christian, although parents can remove their children and sixth formers may decline to attend.[27] Since the school is now an academy (not a maintained school) this requirement does not necessarily apply. The report also found that not all subject department heads have good enough monitoring systems to improve the quality of teaching and learning.

The 2008 reduced tariff report rated the school overall as "outstanding". The main recommendations of the report were to improve sixth form teaching including inconsistency in the quality of teaching between subjects and setting more accurately the right standard of work to stretch and develop pupils.[5] The local Member of Parliament, Richard Benyon, has in the past spoken out over shortfalls for the budget towards Kennet School's sixth form which could explain its under performance in relation to the rest of the school.[28]

The inspection in 2014, resulted in the school being rated as "Requires Improvement", although the sixth form was noted in the report as being "good".[29]

The most recent inspection in May 2016, resulted in the school regaining its "outstanding" status, with the sixth form continuing to be rated as "good".[30]


In 2016 accusations were reported of child sex abuse by former teacher Robert Neill (1986-2003).[31] The school was criticised for not following professional guidelines and missing opportunities to prevent the abuse, prompting an investigation by the West Berkshire Safeguarding Children Board.[32] In 2016, a local vicar Pete Jarvis was accused of child sex offences.[33] Jarvis was an active member of the school community and held youth counselling sessions with students. Since then, Kennet School has been reported by OFSTED to be 'highly vigilant' in keeping pupils safe.[34]

In September 2017, Kennet School and the West Berkshire Council had a legal dispute over £43,000 allegedly owed to the council over the use of the conjoined leisure centre.[35]

Risman Library

The Risman Library
The Risman Library

The Risman Library was opened on 23 September 1997 by Councillor Ann Risman, the Chairman of Berkshire County Council, who was accompanied by Chris Woodhead, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Schools in England. The library is designed to be a low energy environment by incorporating high levels of natural light and ventilation.[36] It stocks over 22,000 books,[37] has seating for pupils and has a separate Sixth Form study section, which doubles as a seminar room.

Notable alumni


Kennet's headmasters and headmistress, starting from establishment in 1957, are.

Years Name
Kennet Modern School
September 1957 to
December 1960
Ben Howe
January 1961 to
July 1971
George Hurford
Kennet Comprehensive School
September 1971 to
July 1978
George Hurford
September 1978 to
July 1982
Terrence Enright
September 1982 to
December 1982
Keith Iles (acting)
January 1983 to
July 1987
Nicholas Wheeler-Robinson
September 1987 to
December 1988
Keith Iles (acting)
January 1989 to
31 January 2009
Paul Dick
1 February 2009 to
31 August 2010[39][40]
Paul Dick (executive)
Susan Croft (associate)[41]
1 December 2010 to
31 March 2011[39][40]
Paul Dick (executive)
Paul German (associate)[41]
Kennet School (Academy)
1 April 2011 to
3 September 2012[39][40]
Paul Dick (executive)
Paul German (associate)[41]
4 September 2012 to
21 December 2017
Paul Dick[42]
4 January 2018 to present Gemma Piper(interim until officially appointed Executive Headteacher in February 2018)[43]


Year Students achieving five A*-C grades at GCSE Average point score per student at A-level
2015 77.0%[44] 751.2
2014 74.0%[45] 807.4
2013 68.0%[46] 785.4
2012 76.0%[47] 829.0
2011 69.0%[48] 870.5
2010 77.0%[49] 926.3[50]
2009 72.0%[51] 891.0[52]
2008 68.0%[53] 868.8[54]
2007 72.0%[55] 843.5[56]
2006 71.0%[57] 813.8[58]
2005 71.4%[59] 317.0[60]
2004 70.0%[61] 284.6[62]
2003 59.0%[63] 273.9[64]
2002 66.0%[65] 257.5 (New system)[66]
2001 63.7%[67] 19.3[68]
2000 61.4%[69] 21.1[70]
1999 59.0%[71] 16.4[72]
1998 61.0%[73] 16.3[74]
1997 60.0%[75] 14.9[76]
1996 59.0%[77] 15.2[78]
1995 58.0%[79] 12.7[80]
1994 54.0%[81] 10.9[82]
1993 52.8% No data
1992 47.5% No data
1991 37.7% No data
1990 35.0% No data
1989 28.0% No data

Note:The irregularity in A-level scores is due to changes in the way the points are calculated.


  1. ^ BBC News – Secondary school league tables in West Berkshire
  2. ^ The Guardian – Secondary school tables
  3. ^ Kennet School prospectus for 2013/4, page 2
  4. ^ Department for Education EduBase
  5. ^ a b Ofsted reduced tariff school inspection report 2008
  6. ^ a b Newbury Today – Kennet awarded third specialism Archived 3 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ DCSF specialism listing – Language College (Excel file) Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Artsmark master record
  9. ^ March 2005 OFSTED report (page 37, section 118)
  10. ^ NACE – Challenge Award achieving schools Archived 18 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ BBC News – For services to education
  12. ^ Guardian – Working together
  13. ^ The Teaching Awards 2001 – Mr Paul Dick Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ The Teaching Awards 2003 – Mr Martyn Greenway Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ The Teaching Awards 2003 – Mrs Juli Morgan-Russell Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  16. ^ The Teaching Awards 2004 – Mrs Sandra Baron Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ The Teaching Awards 2006 – Mr David Wootton Archived 22 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ The Teaching Awards 2009 – Miss Lisa Manning Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  19. ^ Newbury Today – Kennet School teacher retires with award Archived 10 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  20. ^ "2015-2016 Staff Hand Book". Archived from the original on 8 April 2016.
  21. ^ Newbury Today – Thatcham school celebrates 30-year exchange programme Archived 21 April 2013 at
  22. ^ Kennet News Issue Number 14, 'Best Wishes Mr. Hurford!' – July 1978
  23. ^ Kennet News Issue Number 15, 'Kennet Welcomes Mr. Enright.' – October 1978
  24. ^ Kennet News Issue Number 32, 'Welcome to Our New Headmaster.' – March 1983
  25. ^ Kennet News Issue Number 44, 'The only time I make the front page of the Kennet News is when I am leaving!' – April 1987
  26. ^ a b March 2005 OFSTED report (page 7)
  27. ^ Department for Education – Collective worship
  28. ^ Newbury Today – Benyon speaks out on sixth forms Archived 25 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  29. ^ "School inspection report" (PDF). 3 March 2014.
  30. ^ "School inspection report" (PDF). Ofsted. 16 June 2016.
  31. ^ Staff, Agency (9 March 2016). "Kennet School teacher Robert Neill jailed for rape of a pupil". getreading. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  32. ^ "'Opportunities missed' to stop sex abuse". BBC News. 1 February 2017. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  33. ^ "Vicar jailed for abusing teenage girls". BBC News. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  34. ^ "Kennet School found to have effective child safety measures". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  35. ^ "Kennet School and council in dispute over £43,000 payment". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  36. ^ SWA Architects- Education Projects
  37. ^ Kennet School prospectus page 11 Archived 7 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  38. ^ "New UKIP leader's local links". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  39. ^ a b c "Another accolade for Kennet School, and some small temporary changes from 1 February 2009"
  40. ^ a b c Newbury Today "Superhead to save troubled Trinity" Archived 23 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  41. ^ a b c "Letter from West Berkshire Council December 2008"
  42. ^ Kennet School July 2012 newsletter
  43. ^ "Interim headteacher takes the reins at Kennet School". Retrieved 5 February 2018.
  44. ^ DfE performance table 2015
  45. ^ DfE performance table 2014
  46. ^ DfE performance table 2013
  47. ^ DfE performance table 2012
  48. ^ DfE performance table 2011
  49. ^ DfE performance table 2010 (GCSE) Archived 9 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  50. ^ DfE performance table 2010 (A-level) Archived 9 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  51. ^ DfE performance table 2009 (GCSE) Archived 9 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  52. ^ DfE performance table 2009 (A-level) Archived 9 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  53. ^ DfE performance table 2008 (GCSE) Archived 26 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  54. ^ DfE performance table 2008 (A-level) Archived 26 August 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  55. ^ DfE performance table 2007 (GCSE) Archived 18 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  56. ^ DfE performance table 2007 (A-level) Archived 18 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  57. ^ DfE performance table 2006 (GCSE) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  58. ^ DfE performance table 2006 (A-level) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  59. ^ DfE performance table 2005 (GCSE) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  60. ^ DfE performance table 2005 (A-level) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  61. ^ DfE performance table 2004 (GCSE) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  62. ^ DfE performance table 2004 (A-level) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  63. ^ DfE performance table 2003 (GCSE) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  64. ^ DfE performance table 2003 (A-level) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  65. ^ DfE performance table 2002 (GCSE) Archived 5 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  66. ^ DfE performance table 2002 (A-level) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  67. ^ DfE performance table 2001 (GCSE) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  68. ^ DfE performance table 2001 (A-level) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  69. ^ DfE performance table 2000 (GCSE) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  70. ^ DfE performance table 2000 (A-level) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  71. ^ DfE performance table 1999 (GCSE) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  72. ^ DfE performance table 1999 (A-level) Archived 19 September 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  73. ^ DfE performance table 1998 (GCSE) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  74. ^ DfE performance table 1998 (A-level) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  75. ^ DfE performance table 1997 (GCSE) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  76. ^ DfE performance table 1997 (A-level) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  77. ^ DfE performance table 1996 (GCSE) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  78. ^ DfE performance table 1996 (A-level) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  79. ^ DfE performance table 1995 (GCSE) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  80. ^ DfE performance table 1995 (A-level) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  81. ^ DfE performance table 1994 (GCSE) Archived 15 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  82. ^ DfE performance table 1994 (A-level) Archived 23 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine

External links

This page was last edited on 1 April 2021, at 09:00
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