The Skinners’ Company, as Governors of Tonbridge School and prompted by the Endowed Schools Commissioners, opened The Skinners’ School in Tunbridge Wells in 1887. The School based its curriculum on the classics. The Company, as Trustee to the 1887 Endowment, owns the school site, and to this day members of the Skinners’ Company make up a significant proportion of the Governing Body.
The Skinners’ School became a voluntary-aided grammar school under the 1944 Education Act. It adopted academy status in February 2014 without change to its standing as a leading grammar school or its admissions arrangements. The Skinners' School Foundation is the lead sponsor of The Skinners' Kent Academy which was established in 2009.
Since original construction in 1887 further building has taken place.
1994 The Leopard Building houses Mathematics, Art, Design Technology and ICT
2002 The Cecil Beeby Building provides specialist facilities for Modern Languages
2003 Restoration of Byng Hall - acquired to provide facilities for Music and Drama - was given a Conservation Award from Tunbridge Wells Civic Society
2008 The Thomson Theatre was incorporated into Byng Hall
2012 The Sports Hall complex opened on the Main School site
The Skinners’ School offers a traditional curriculum, valuing academic achievement, and encouraging wide participation in a range of extra-curricular opportunities. The curriculum has been carefully designed to offer breadth yet challenge appropriate to the needs of The Skinners’ School pupils. Students are given opportunities to experience practical and creative subjects. A specialist course helps to focus attention on how to learn through cognitive skills (COGS).
There is a much greater emphasis on independent study in the Sixth Form, and more than 50% of the year group will go on to take some sort of leadership role, be this as a subject prefect, a junior form prefect, house captain, a member of the school prefect team or within our CCF or sports teams. Most students make a UCAS application to the more selective universities – over 80% will end up going to a Russell Group university, including Oxford and Cambridge.
Since its foundation The Skinners’ School has admitted boys from the town of Tunbridge Wells and its hinterland of villages - Tunbridge Wells is the regional centre for west Kent and north east Sussex. It selects its pupils solely on academic ability as measured by the KCC PESE (11+) test. Geographical location is only used as a tie-breaker between applicants with the same test score. The Schools’ Adjudicator affirmed this policy following a complaint to him in 2009.