(updated March 2013)
Walmer Science College Placed into Special Measures by OFSTED with dreadful Report in 2011. My comments are here. Since then, the school has changed dramatically under the Executive Headship of Paul Luxmoore, also responsible for Dane Court Grammar School and King Ethelbert's School in Thanet. The June 2012 OFSTED Report found: "This is a satisfactory and rapidly improving college, benefiting from enterprising and engaging strategic planning by the executive principal and incisive ‘hands-on’ leadership by the head of school". Excerpts from Report: Information about the schoolWalmer Science College is a smaller-than-average, non-selective school in an area with grammar schools. Since the previous inspection, when it was put into special measures, there have been extensive changes to the college’s leadership and organisation, including: changes to the leadership and structure of the governing body; the one-year secondment of an executive principal; secondment of the head of school, whose contract has now been extended; secondment of a deputy headteacher, now a substantive appointment; and extensive curriculum revision. The Memorandum of Agreement with a nearby academy has established that its headteacher will take on the role of executive headteacher in September 2012. The college meets the current floor standard, which sets out the minimum standards expected by the government. The college has fewer girls than boys, and a slightly lower-than-average proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals. The proportion of students supported by school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is almost twice the national average. Key findings This is a satisfactory and rapidly improving college, benefiting from enterprising and engaging strategic planning by the executive principal and incisive ‘hands-on’ leadership by the head of school. Accurate evaluation of strengths to be nurtured and weaknesses to be remedied is driving improvement. The proportion of good or better teaching is increasing, students’ progress is strengthening in synchrony with their much improved behaviour, and the curriculum now meets all needs. Achievement gaps are closing – demonstrating commitment to equality of opportunity and esteem. Capacity for further improvement is strong. The sixth-form is satisfactory; provision and outcomes are improving. Given low prior attainment, the qualifications achieved represent satisfactory or better progress and provide a sound basis for students’ future options. Examples of inadequate teaching are rare Achievement is satisfactory. Students enter with low attainment and make satisfactory progress. Attainment at GCSE or equivalent is low but improving. Weak literacy skills and limited development of numeracy across subjects inhibit overall attainment. Staff, students, parents and carers rightly identify effective behaviour management and changed attitudes to learning as key to the college’s improvement. The school is now amalgamating with Castle Community College, which is effective closure of Walmer Science College, brought about by poor leadership. Further information and comment here. There will be no further intakes from September 2014.
Weald of Kent Grammar School Tonbridge. Applying to be an Academy. Outstanding OFSTED. OFSTED Interim Assessment Jan 2011 - school still outstanding, no new Inspection until 2012. Heavily oversubscribed. 11 places offered off waiting list at end of March. There were 75 appeals in 2009, of which 27 were successful, nearly all being girls who had already passed the Kent tests. There were a number of successful complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman for 2009 entry. Final entry number was 164. 50 qualified first choices oversubscribed March 2010, down to 18 in March 2011. 55 appeals 2010, Now an Academy. For 2011 entry, there were 17 successful appeals out of the 37. Heavily oversubscribed for 2012 entry but, by the beginning of the appeals, all qualified girls, living in the selective area of West Kent, had been offered a place under re-allocation. Has increased its intake from 145 to 175 for entry in September 2013, which should ensure all grammar qualified girls in West Kent secure a grammar school place on allocation day, and will remove demand for places in the proposed grammar school annex in Sevenoaks. As a result just 1 first choice not offered a place for Sept 2013.
Westlands School Sittingbourne. In Federation with Woodgrove Primary School. Outstanding OFSTED. Heavily oversubscribed. Appeals organised by Independent Appeal Administrator, 78 first choices oversubscribed on 2nd March 2011, 94 in 2011. 65 additional places were offered completely outside the system in April 2011. First and only Kent School (the Federation) to become a new style academy in September 2010. Highest number of permanent exclusions (11) in Kent schools, September to Easter 2010-11. For 2012,, level of oversubscription dropped sharply, but still 60 first choices turned down. has once again offered places outside system in March, initially excluding children holding places at Sittingbourne Community College, but subsequently including them, probably including all applicants on the Isle of Sheppey. The school tells me that some children on the waiting list were not offered places but is reluctant to say how many or where they live. I have no information on whether they will repeat this practice for a third time in 2013, but it would appear likely. OFSTED 2012 - Outstanding. Excerpts: Information about this school - The Westlands School is a converter academy, established in September 2010, from The Westlands School, a maintained secondary modern school in the control of Kent local authority; When it was last inspected in 2008, The Westlands School was judged to be outstanding overall; teaching, behaviour and overall effectiveness of the sixth form were judged to be good; The school is a larger than average-sized non-selective secondary school, located within a selective area; It is the lead school in an academy trust consisting of two primaries and an additional secondary school; The Trust principal is responsible for the leadership of all four trust schools; Other staff also provide support within the schools; The proportion of students that are looked after or known to be eligible for free school meals is slightly below average; The school has an on-site centre known as the ‘Pyramid Centre’ where two units are located, providing specialist support for students with physical disabilities or dyslexia; The school meets the current government floor standards, which set minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress. Key findings - This is an outstanding school; The Trust principal is relentless in his drive to ensure students succeed; He sets exacting standards for all and will settle for nothing but the best; Leaders at all levels are passionate about the difference they can make; They routinely check how well students are doing and provide extra support where necessary to ensure no-one lags behind; GCSE results have risen from way below to above average since 2009 - This is because of leaders’ attention to detail and their insistence on raising students’ views of themselves and what they are capable of achieving; Students’ behaviour is outstanding; They approach learning with growing confidence and enthusiasm; Mutual respect is at the heart of this vibrant school community; Teaching is outstanding; Teachers have unequivocally high expectations of all students; They manage their classes exceptionally well to ensure that all students are actively involved in their learning; The governing body and trustees have an excellent understanding of the school, the challenges it faces and its strengths; They have played an active part in securing improvements; The sixth form is good and rapidly improving - Results are above average this year and it is growing in numbers and courses offered. 92 first choices not offered a place for September 2013, part of a massive problem for non-selective schools in Sittingbourne. At the end of March the school has not offered additional places to children on the waiting list, as it did the previous two years.
Whitstable Community College. Go to Communtiy College Whitstable.
Wilmington Academy. Became an Academy September 2010, converting from the failed Wilmington Enterprise College which was placed in Special Measures in 2009. Federated with the highly successful Leigh Academy (above). Other sponsors are the Universities of Kent and Greenwich and Kent County Council. Popularity shot up for 2012 entry with 33 first choices turned away in March, just 10 in 2013.
Wilmington Grammar School for Boys. An Academy in conjunction with Wilmington Girls. Can be oversubscribed because of large influx from across the county boundary. In 2009 there were 45 offers in March to out county boys from a total of 120. The number of appeals in 2009 was a record for the county at 108, of whom just 8 were successful all of whom had passed the Kent tests. Although it was not primarily the school's fault, there were a number of successful complaints to the Local Government Ombudsman. 16 qualified first choices oversubscribed in March 2011. 50 out of county offers out of 120. Just 2 successful appeals out of 65. Offer level to top 10% of applicants shot up to 414 for 2012. 46 out of county offers. 19 first choices oversubscribed. 35 appeals successful after head informed appeal panel he was happy to take an additional class. By September, including appeals, number for intake was 146. OFSTED 2013: Good (up from Satisfactory in 2010). Excerpts from Report: Information about the school - This is a slightly smaller than average school with 241 students in the sixth form; The school selects from the top 25% of boys; The school converted to become an academy school in August 2011; The school has a specialism in engineering; The school meets the government’s floor standards, which set the minimum expectations for students’ attainment and progress. Key Findings - This is a good school; The headteacher’s clear and ambitious vision for the school, which is shared by all staff, has successfully brought about improvements in teaching and, as a result, students make good progress and achieve well; Teachers have good subject knowledge, mark books conscientiously and set regular homework - As a result, much of the teaching is good and some is outstanding; Leaders, including the governors, know their school well and are clear about what needs to be done to improve still further; Students are proud of their school - They are courteous and polite and in their lessons they are keen to learn; The school has been very successful in planning a curriculum that meets the needs of all its students; The school’s specialism in engineering is a popular option where students achieve particularly well; The sixth form is good - Students’ achievement is good, They feel that they are taught well and appreciate the quality of the advice that they receive; Not all leaders have a clear enough picture of the quality of teaching in their subject area and what needs to be done to improve it; Not enough opportunities are provided for students to act upon the advice they are given when their work is returned to them. Offer level to top 10% remained high in 2013, at 414 again. 11 qualified first preferences not offered, 68 offers to London Borough children.
The Grammar School for Girls, Wilmington. Academy in conjunction with Wilmington Grammar School for Boys. OFSTED 2012: Good and Improving. Excerpts form Report: Information about the school. The school is smaller than the average-sized secondary school and has specialist status in mathematics and computing. The great majority of its students come from the Dartford area and the London Boroughs of Bromley and Bexley. The school converted to academy status in August 2011 and collaborates with the local boys’ grammar school to offer sixth form provision. The proportion of students from minority ethnic backgrounds is increasing and is above the national average at approximately 24%. English is an additional language for nearly half of these students. The proportion of students supported at school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is well below average. Key findings This is a good school that is improving. Very positive relationships, mutual respect and a culture of openness underpin the harmonious and supportive community of the school in which most students thrive.Most students enjoy learning and school life. They generally make good progress to attain high standards at the end of Year 11. The sixth form is good.Teaching is good. The best lessons are very well paced, well planned and full of challenge. Students respond with excitement and enthusiasm to the variety of learning opportunities provided. The behaviour of students is good. Around the school it is impressive with students behaving courteously and considerately. Leaders at all levels are involved in self-evaluation which is probing and accurate. Subject leaders are not equally expert at driving improvements in teaching but line-management is robust, and well-tailored training and interventions are building staff capacity and leadership skills. Comprehensive systems for tracking students’ progress inform the management of teacher performance. The governing body is very effective in both supporting and challenging the school. Staff are proud to be part of the school and are bound together by a shared sense of purpose at the heart of which is the commitment to continuous improvement.Sometimes has a few places after allocation in March. A Just fully subscribed with first choices March 2011. 77 out of county offers out of 120. An astonishing 84 out of county offers for 2012. By the time of the appeals the number of acceptances had fallen to 114. Filled on allocation in 2012. Started in September with 110 girls in Year 7. 2 first choices not offered, Out of county offers for 2013 even higher at 92!
Wrotham School. popular rural school always heavily oversubscribed, but takes some additional children after appeals each year. 35 first choices oversubscribed on allocation in 2010, 18 in 2011. Now an Academy. 39 first choices oversubscribed for 2012. Began in September 2012 with 129 students in Year 7, nine above the Planned Admission number. For 2013 entry increased PAN by 10 to 130 and still turned away 33 first choices.