Bennett Memorial Diocesan School

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Bennett Memorial Diocesan School
The entrance to Bennett Memorial school - - 1047708.jpg
Motto Semper Tenax (Ever holding fast)
Established 1951
Type Secondary All Ability Academy
Religion Church of England
Headteacher Mr Jon Sparke
Founder Lady Elena Bennett and Christopher Chavasse
Location Culverden Down
Tunbridge Wells
51°08′34″N 0°14′53″E / 51.14267°N 0.24792°E / 51.14267; 0.24792Coordinates: 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 1496
Gender Coeducational
Ages 11–18
Houses Audley, Chavasse,Fisher, Gundulf, Justus, Langdon, Merton, Ridley, Talbot

Bennett Memorial Diocesan School is an all ability co-educational academy in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, which caters for students from age 11 to 18.


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 400 students and only 18 teachers on 8 January 1953. 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 opened 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 into Year 7. In 2003 Bennett Memorial achieved specialist school status as a technology college.In April 2011, Bennett Memorial Diocesan School gained 'Academy' status, bringing with it new freedom and opportunity. In 2012 Bennett achieved an Outstanding judgment from Ofsted.

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 buildings:

  • The Mansion House - 1906/51+ (R.E, Philosophy, PSHE, ICT ) - Main Reception, Site Teem, ICT Team, Offices**
  • The Webster Block - 1977 (ICT, Modern Foreign Languages, Geography, English) - Learning Support, Offices
  • Music Block - 1970s - (Music, Drama Department) and 1st PE Department - 1980s - Extension to Main Mansion Block via Long Corridor and concourse - Offices**
  • Technology tower - 1980s? - (Art, Technology, Science Departments, Textiles, Food) Connected to mansion via Bridges or Science Courtyard - Offices**
  • Small Hall - 1970s - Extension to Main Mansion Block concourse - Catering Facilities Connected to mansion via concourse
  • The Ann Scott Wing - 1993/6/8 (English*, Science) - Department Offices
  • The Sports Hall - 2001 (a 4-badminton court-sized hall, a multi gymn)
  • The Cutbush Building - 2001/5 (History*) Department Offices) (Forma six form center)
  • The Palmer Building - 2008 (Maths*) Department Offices
  • Sixth Form Study Centre - 2014 (PSHE, RS/RE & Social Sciences, Study Space, Maths) - Offices

→ Outdoor Facilities

  • The Food Cube - 2014 (Outdoor Catering Facilities)
  • The 3G Pitch - 2017 (Rugby and Football) This facility was built for the purpose of sport and so that sport could be played in any wheather conditions. Despite this it is agreed by many people that the creation of this pitch was completely unnecessary and a waste of money that could have been spent on upgrading the toilet facilities kept in poor conditions and also better quality resources.

 ** - Based in this building  
 ** - Connected to Mansion

Form system[edit]

The school holds a house system used in every year. Each house is named after bishops of Rochester:

Form Form colours
Audley Maroon
Chavasse Green
Fisher Navy blue
Gundulf Yellow
Justus Light Blue
Langdon Grey
Merton Purple
Ridley Red
Talbot Bright Green

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. Archived from the original on 23 September 2013. 

External links[edit]