Based on 7 reviews and 63 answers
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Aug 26, 2023

Mental health and well-being is non existent.

Look I may sound like a complaining student, but under the new management by Doctor Adams, the school sucks, I just finished my GCSEs after 0 help after begging for it because the school PE classes gave me an eating disorder, basically, go here if your family is rich because there's clearly a class divide in setting, and the grades are so poor for the lower sets, many fail, so the grades look good on the surface but only because all investment goes into the top sets, thankfully I managed to pass all my GCSEs (with no help from the school) but a lot of my peers didn't, the best reason to go here is that it's easier to get into Peter Symonds, thank you kings of giving me mental health issues that could very well last me a lifetime :)
Also big thanks to the staff who actually helped, even though most of you left, like my Drama teacher and Sociology teacher and my maths teachers (who helped me after I was moved into the lowest sets for like no reason to move me up sets and get a 6)
Mar 23, 2023

Massively disappointed

Sadly Kings has been a massive disappointment for us. We enthusiastically enrolled our child there with high hopes but soon wished we had gone elsewhere. The communication is awful, you email the teachers/tutors or main address and just hear nothing back at all. If your child is in top sets they will do well but I would argue these kids do well at every school and could probably do better in a kinder environment. If they are in middle sets they get completely lost. We had a problem with bullying which was dealt with poorly and turned into a much bigger issue for our child. There are fights in the playground and very disruptive behaviour. The older kids shove over the younger kids continually in between lesson times, it's an intimidating and unsafe environment. Older kids vape in the toilets so the younger kids are frightened to go in. To be fair there are some great teachers, however they have so many children to manage they are completely overwhelmed. (1600 pupils in the school). We never once heard from our childs tutor and there are no clear lines of communication. We decided to move schools and haven't looked back. General consensus seems to be that the school has really gone downhill and isn't what it was 10 years ago. Many friends have also pulled their kids out and moved elsewhere. Uniform policy is totally OTT. The kids have to wear blazers and long trousers in the height of summer. It feels like an army camp. I witnessed a PE teacher yelling at a boy for not having the correct boots. Sorry Kings but I think major reforms are needed, it's not just about results. The kids are supposed to enjoy their time at school and to feel safe so they can learn.
Oct 1, 2022


Im currently a year 9 at Kings and im going to say, my experience hasnt been the best . Recently lunch queues have been so long that ive gotten lunch at 1pm, the food is okay but they should add updates to our lunch. The bullying handling is alright but most of the time the bully always does it again
Oct 1, 2022

Good school, but senior staff seem to not care

Currently a year 10 student at the school as of September 2022. On the surface, it's a very good school. The students achieve much higher than the national average and there is a lot of extra curricular content to support and facilitate that. The school has recently gone under new management, however, and there's a general consensus of unrest about it. Our last headteacher, ML, who left just under a year and a half ago, was a much more active member of the school's community, interacting with pupils around the school and actively helping teachers wherever he could. The new head, DA, never seems to leave his office, delegating every responsibility to someone further down the staff heirarchy. Furthermore, although I understand that new headteachers often implement changes to facilitate the way they work, however DA seems to be trying to undo the work ML did.

We've had an Outstanding Ofsted rating for at least 10 years and our behaviour is on average much better than that of other local schools, and yet the first change he implemented was a completely new system of isolation to take disruptive pupils out of class, and to be held in the "Removal Room" until the period ends. Ignoring the implicitly threatening name, giving teachers a toolkit of 3 reminders then a removal leads to the lines being quite blurred and a double standard with certain teachers. For example, I know of multiple pupils who have been given reminders without being told and subsequently sent to the RR for continuing doing what they were told off for. Additionally, several teachers are not willing to accept that they are wrong in certain situations, so when a student attempts to explain the situation, the teacher sees it as "talking back" and removes them from class. I estimate that around 10-15% of all removals are due to some kind of misunderstanding like those listed above

After completing this, DA turned his attention to the staff. He decided to interview each staff member one on one, and while I have no idea what discussions were had I remember teachers coming back in a significantly dimmed mood. Evidently this got to such a point that around 20-30 of the teaching staff resigned at the end of the year. A beloved science teacher, MG, was by his own admission "forced out" by DA and was having his job threatened. This is a shame as multiple members of staff who were part of the core community, including Heads of House, those responsible for organising Prom, Sports Day or the School Fete, were sadly lost to the school forever. DA seems entirely unfazed by this.

Crucially, DA has a lack of communication. He's unwilling to share information about decisions until after they've been announced or even put in place. There's often massive unrest as he puts in place a new system because we have no idea why or how it's going to happen, and often it's to deal with a negligible issue with a minute portion of the community.

I could go on and on about DA's unreasonable policies, like insisting pupils stand up before class to have their uniforms inspected, spending masses of the school's budget just to slightly modify the logo and colour scheme, put massive 30m murals of the logo everywhere, completely rebuilding the tutor group system (in a new way which, by their own admission, does not prioritise helping wellbeing and mental health in KS4 whereas they welcome it wholeheartedly in KS3; your KS4 tutor is not there for you to form a bond with, they're just there to teach), and to create a new (completely unnavigable) website, checking only girls' skirts when around the school and ignoring boys' uniform entirely, cutting down massively on the school's opportunities including getting rid of Psychology and Sociology (of which we were to my knowledge the only school in the county to offer it), but I'll condense it down to this summary:

Kings is a great school with amazing facilities and good resources to get the best grades you can. The school has a slightly too heavy focus on uniform, and often you find that instead of dealing with behaviour issues directly the SLT or Head of Year team will just put a pupil in isolation so it's no longer their problem. The Welfare department (i.e. counselling and helping with pupil wellbeing and mental health) is in line with the county standard of being ineffective and ignoring or dismissing legitimate issues without considering them. And, finally, beware DA, the unreasonable headteacher who seems to prey on punishment, chaos, and girls' skirts. Have fun.
May 15, 2022

Not really anything special

It’s okay nothing special really most of the teachers are nice but it’s quite centred around test results and not actual learning and the behaviour of some other students is awful and most teachers don’t do anything…
Oct 5, 2021

it was ok

it was alright overall, socially( in regards to bullying, cliques etc) it was bad and the support for mental health was awful. felt very alone at times and school didn’t help, however the teachers were good in helping me get back on track.
Former Student
Aug 11, 2021

Brilliant school!

Really great school. Amazing facilities (swimming pool, Astro, climbing wall, bouldering wall, three fields, wooded area) and supportive, kind and caring staff. I enjoyed my time there.

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