Bennett Memorial Diocesan School

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Bennett Memorial Diocesan School
Motto Semper Tenax (Ever holding fast)
Established 1951
Type Community school
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Jon Sparke
Founder Lady Elena Bennett and Christopher Chavasse
Location Culverden Down
Tunbridge Wells
Coordinates: 51°08′34″N 0°14′53″E / 51.14267°N 0.24792°E / 51.14267; 0.24792
Local authority Kent
DfE URN 136603 Tables
Ofsted Reports
Staff 102
Students 1480
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Audley, Chavasse,Fisher, Gundalf, Justus, Langdon, Merton, Ridley
Colours Green

Bennett Memorial Diocesan School is a secondary school in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England.


The school was founded on 17 October 1951, by Lady Elena Bennett of Matfield, and Christopher M. Chavasse, Bishop of Rochester. The school opened to students on 8 January 1953, to 400 students and only 18 teachers. The schools' main benefactress, Lady Elena Bennett, died peacefully during the early hours of 25 October 1967. In 1976 Bennett became a comprehensive school, welcoming students of all abilities from a large part of the Diocese of Rochester rather than just Tunbridge Wells. It was shortly after this time that the Bennett sixth form was developed for A-Level students. Over the years students have travelled from as far away as Aylesford and Robertsbridge. A huge turning point in the School's life, happened in 1993, when Bennett introduced boys in Year 7. In 2003 Bennett Memorial achieved specialist school status as a technology college. It also has the silver Artsmark award, the Sportsmark award and is a Language College.

In April 2011, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School gained 'Academy' status, bringing with it new freedom and opportunity.

Pupils from the school were chosen to form part of a "guard of honour" for athletes at the opening ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, displaying artistic creations their school made to celebrate the event.[1]

In 2012, the school unveiled plans for a new sixth form centre.[2] Construction of the 'Sixth Form Study Centre' commenced in March 2013, and opened to staff and students in January 2014.

In February 2014 Rt Hon Michael Gove (Education secretary) came to the school to officially open the new sixth form block.


The school has the following main buildings:

  • The Mansion House - 1906/51+ (Administration, R.E, Art, Technology, Science Departments & Site Team)
  • The Palmer Building - 2008 (Maths)
  • The Webster Block - 1977 (ICT, Modern Foreign Languages, Geography & Learning Support)
  • The Cutbush Building - 2001/5 (History)
  • Music and Drama Department - 1980s
  • The Ann Scott Wing - 1993/6/8 (English, Science)
  • The Sports Hall - 2001 (a 4-badminton court-sized hall)
  • Sixth Form Study Centre - 2014 (PSHE, RS & Social Sciences, Study Space)

Form system[edit]

The school holds a house system used in every year, the name of the house is usually named after bishops of Rochester:

Form Form colors
Audley Maroon
Chavasse Green
Fisher Navy blue
Gundulf Yellow
Justus Light Blue
Langdon Grey/Pink
Merton Purple
Ridley Red

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Murphy, Chris (27 May 2012), "School pupils to form guard of honour for 2012 athletes", Kent on Sunday (KOS Media) 
  2. ^ "'Uni-esque' sixth form in pipeline at Bennett Memorial Diocesan School". Kent and Sussex Courier. 28 September 2012. 

External links[edit]