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Grammar tops local exam results league

MAIDSTONE’S Invicta Grammar is celebrating after being named as the top local performer in last year’s exam results.

The schoolwas rated the 13th best secondary school in England for GCSEs andwas 16th top inA-Levels. Every pupil in the school achieved

the benchmark standard of five or more A*-C grades in GCSEs includ- ing mathsandEnglish, with the aver- age points per pupil used to rank schools in England. The next highest scorer from the area wasMaidstone Grammar, in 42nd place. St Augustine Academy is now in

the top 10% of secondary schools across the country for student progress. Percentage of students achievingfiveormoreGCSEA*-Cs, including English and maths, and how they compared to 2012: Invicta Grammar – 100% (same) Maidstone Grammar: Girls – 100% (+1%)

Maidstone Grammar – 97% (same) Oakwood Park Grammar, Maidstone – 95% (-4%) SuonValence – 87% (+5%) St Simon Stock, Maidstone – 73%

Dental surgery

PLANNING permission has been granted to convert an office at White Trees House, 3 Ashford Road, Maidstone into a dental sur- gery. Four surgery roomswould be in-

troduced at the Grade II Listed building, which has been vacant for about two years.

Parking talks

A PROPOSAL to build five town- houses on the site of St Luke’sMed- ical Centre has been deferred due to a lack of parking. The medical centre, on the junc-

tion of Holland Road and St Luke’s Road, is being sold off for housing so it can merge with the Marsham Street Surgery at the former NFU Mutual Building in Albion Place. The application provided no of-

froad parking spaces, with Maid- stone Council’s parking services manager saying it would have a bad impact on the amenity of local residents. An objector said therewas poten-

tial for up to 15 parking spaces if the applicant, Dr Peter Szwedziuk, de- cided to change the layout. The planning committee asked officers to talk to the applicant about creating more parking spaces before revisiting the proposal.

46 Maidstone Town March 2014

Pupils from St Augustine Academy celebrate their results

(+16%) Aylesford School – 59% (+10%) CornwallisAcademy, Maidstone – 57% (+2%) Maplesden Noakes, Maidstone – 55% (same) Valley Park,Vinters Park – 52% (- 8%) Swadelands, Lenham – 51% (-7%) St AugustineAcademy, Maidstone – 49% (+10%) The Malling School, East Malling – 45% (+10%) Holmesdale College, Snodland –

41% (-14%) NewLine LearningAcademy, Maidstone – 40% (same) Percentage of students at local schools passing at least threeA levels (A*-E): Invicta Grammar – 100% Maidstone Grammar: Girls – 100% Maidstone Grammar – 96% St Simon Stock Catholic School, Maidstone – 82% Oakwood Park Grammar, Maidstone – 68% Maplesden Noakes, Maidstone – 61% Focus School, Linton – 38% CornwallisAcademy, Maidstone – 29% The Malling School, East Malling – 20% Valley Park,Vinters Park – 18% St AugustineAcademy, Maidstone – 7%

*A Level statistics do not include Pre-Q results

Crew changes help keep cost of fire cover down

KENT and Medway Fire and Res- cue Authority is increasing its share of council tax for 2014/15 by just over 2p to £1.35 a year for a bandD household. The authority, which needs to

save £10million over the next three years, said the 1.99% rise is neces- sary to modernise the service. The tax rise is the first in four years. Proposals given the go-ahead in

its annual safety plan include im- proving emergency cover by in- creasing the hours day-crewed firefighters respond immediately from their station duringweekdays and extending these arrangements toweekends. KMFRA chairman Nick Chard said: “We have seen a huge reduc-

BOROUGH councils in Maidstone and Tonbridge and Malling are in the same fight against childhood obesity as many of their national counterparts. Figures compiled for the Depart-

ment of Health show that in Eng- land, 33.3% of Year 6 pupils (aged 10 and 11) and 22.2% of reception pupils (aged four and five) are rated overweight or obese. In Maidstone this number was

tion in fires and other incidents, but we recognise that there are still challenges to meet.” Following a large drop in the number and size of fires in the last decade, the 2014 safety plan also in- cludes removing one crew member for each seven-personwatch. On-call fire cover across the county will be improved and more engines will be available towork by allowing, in some circumstances, crews of three rather than four. Most of the job losses are ex- pected to take place through nor- mal staff turnover such as retirement. The number of height vehicles will be reduced from five to three, which will include one based at Maidstone.

30.1% (of which 16%were obese) at Year 6 and 24.4% (8.8% obese) in re- ception. In Tonbridge and Malling the figureswere 31.3% (17.5%) and 20.9% (8.7%) respectively. Both councils say they are taking

the obesity problem seriously. Little Stirrers’ healthy cooking programme targets school children in both areas.A“Sporty Kidz” pro- gramme to encourage exercise among up to the age of five is also Academy ‘has

more freedom’ ST SIMON Stock in Maidstone has become the first of a new breed of academy, as part of a county-wide partnership of Catholic schools. The school,

near Queen’s Road, will be fol- lowed by 31 other Catholic secondary and primary schools from across Kent to break away fromKCCcharge

over the next two years. St Simon Stock’s head Brendan

Wall (pictured) said: “This move will give Kent’s Catholic schools greater freedom to choose the most cost-effective provider of outside services.” KCC takes about 8% of school funding from the Government for core services for Kent’s schools. MrWall added: “We will be able

to use this money more effectively to improve our teaching and grades.” The school, which has 1,030 pupils, became an academy in Jan- uary.MrWall said: “We do not ex- pect parents or pupils to notice any difference – other than an improve- ment in the day-to-day running of the school.”

Grants offer

COMMUNITY groups and chari- ties are being invited to bid for the third and final round of cash awards from Maidstone Council’s Pride in Maidstone fund. Just £6,500 remains of the £70,000

fund, which supports community projects throughout the borough. Applications are welcome from community groups, voluntary or- ganisations, charities, social enter- prises and organisations who wish to run projects to improve or sup- port thewellbeing of communities. Twelve projects have been funded, including £10,000 for Maid- stone Christian Care to expand its Food for Thought project and £11,315 for The Symbol Trust to es- tablish three theatre companies. The closing date for applications

is midnight on Friday, March 7. Call Julia Fraser on 01622 602513 or email

Councilswaging war on obesity in children

about to start in Maidstone. Tonbridge and Malling Council’s

free after-school club LEAP will also help parents and children learn about their food, eat more healthily and be more active. The programme is running at St

James the GreatAcademy School in East Malling, with more to be launched this year. The council’s “Go For it” programme also targets youngsters.

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