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  • The Skinners' School
    St John's Road
    Tunbridge Wells
    TN4 9PG
  • Head: Mr E Wesson
  • T 01892 520732
  • F 01892 549356
  • E
  • W
  • A state school for boys aged from 11 to 18.
  • Boarding: No
  • Local authority: Kent
  • Pupils: 978; sixth formers: 250
  • Religion: None
  • Review: View The Good Schools Guide Review
  • Ofsted:
    • Latest Overall effectiveness Outstanding 1
      • 16-19 study programmes Outstanding 1
      • Outcomes for children and learners Outstanding 1
      • Quality of teaching, learning and assessment Good 1
      • Effectiveness of leadership and management Outstanding 1
    • 1 Full inspection 7th June 2007
  • Ofsted report: View the Ofsted report

What says..

Strong sense of purpose about the school; ‘Boys are proud to be here and proud of what it stands for as part of the community,’ says the headmaster. ’There are some real scholars but most enjoy school just as much for friends and the extracurricular activities as the academics.' Boys tend to be health and fitness conscious, said our guide, and the fitness suite is ‘sixth form heaven’ with weights and a cardiovascular section.  ‘Music is fantastic with a huge number of clubs,’ said one parent. 'If a boy is musical he will be catered for’. Two orchestras, choirs, swing bands...

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What the school says...

Skinners' is a high-achieving boys' grammar school with a strong ethos and outstanding pastoral care
High achieving students develop a love of learning and curiosity about the world, building the capacity and self-confidence to strive with ambition to reach their full potential.
The school’s ethos and activities are inclusive and diverse, and help develop character, leadership, compassion, collaboration and interests for life. ...Read more

What the parents say...

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2015 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Boys taking Biology at an English Grammar School (Edexcel Certificates)
  • Best performance by Boys taking Chemistry at an English Grammar School (Edexcel Certificates)
  • Best performance by Boys taking Physics at an English Grammar School (Edexcel Certificates)

2016 Good Schools Guide Awards

  • Best performance by Boys taking Physics at an English Grammar School (Edexcel Certificates)

School associations

State grammar school



What The Good Schools Guide says


Since 2013, Mr Edward Wesson MA (early 50s). Educated at Tonbridge, where he was head boy, and at Cambridge, where he read law. ‘Dabbled in journalism’ and worked on the Sevenoaks Chronicle before training as a teacher. ‘I became a teacher because I knew it would be a lot of fun,’ he was overheard telling a pupil. Taught at New Beacon, Sevenoaks and Wellington School, Somerset, followed by 12 years at Hampton, where he became head of sixth form and master in charge of cricket. Was deputy head of Reigate Grammar for four years and then head of King’s Tynemouth for three years before moving into the state sector as headmaster of Skinners’ – although he says Skinners’ also has ‘the DNA of an independent school’. He teaches history and politics and is married...

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Special Education Needs

We are a selective boys’ school, with a large sixth form. The most common support is with literacy, including help with improving handwriting. Typically pupils identified for SEN support have mild dyslexia or dyspraxia. Pupils are assessed as necessary, not just for additional help, but to ensure they receive extra time in public examinations. A few boys have additional on-site support from the Dyslexia Institute. Some use lap-tops. In recent years we have observed an increasing frequency of boys with ASD, most notably Asperger's. As a school we have had to learn appropriate teaching strategies to support these children. We will disapply elements of the national curriculum, if appropriate, to meet the needs of the individual. Pupils with behavioural challenges such as ADD and ADHD (Ritalin not a problem), may participate in a pastoral support programme, which includes anger management. We have experience of pupils with Tourettes and with physical difficulties. We have supported a boy who was profoundly deaf and one who was visually impaired but the hilly, Victorian site, is not ideally suited to wheelchairs. However, school has parents who use wheelchairs and we will always endeavour to work out a suitable route or system to ensure they have necessary access to the site and to staff.

Condition Provision for in school
ASD - Autistic Spectrum Disorder Y
Aspergers Y
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorders Y
CReSTeD registered for Dyslexia
Dyscalculia Y
Dysgraphia Y
Dyslexia Y
English as an additional language (EAL)
Has an entry in the Autism Services Directory
Has SEN unit or class
HI - Hearing Impairment
Hospital School
Mental health
MLD - Moderate Learning Difficulty
MSI - Multi-Sensory Impairment
Natspec Specialist Colleges
OTH - Other Difficulty/Disability
Other SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
PD - Physical Disability
PMLD - Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulty
SEMH - Social, Emotional and Mental Health
SLCN - Speech, Language and Communication
SLD - Severe Learning Difficulty
Special facilities for Visually Impaired
SpLD - Specific Learning Difficulty
VI - Visual Impairment Y

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