(updated January 2012))
Greenacre School Chatham. Usually oversubscribed, some appeals successful each year. 27 first choices oversubscribed on 2nd March 2010. OFSTED Feb 2011 - A Good School: "Greenacre School is an average-sized school, although the number of boys on roll is steadily increasing. The school is located within a local authority which operates a selective system. Greenacre School has a joint sixth form with the neighbouring school, Walderslade Girls' School, which has specialist status for humanities with arts. Students in the sixth form are taught on both sites in mixed classes. The proportion of students known to be eligible for free school meals is below the national average. The percentage of students from minority ethnic groups is well below the national average, as is those who speak English as an additional language. The proportion of students identified as having special educational needs and/or disabilities is well above the national average and the number of students with a statement of special educational needs is above the national average". The school is now an academy. The school has specialist status for sport and ICT. Full for September 2012 entry, but admission appeals aresusually successful.
Howard School, Gillingham. A unique school, being bilateral formed out of a previous grammar school and a non selective boys school, producing two streams which are taught separately so it is not a comprehensive school. Has had a mixed history, but is now oversubscribed. There is now no separate grammar option on the admission form. Instead admission for any boy is not dependent on the Medway Test. Those who have passed the Medway test are automatically placed in the grammar stream and then others who are assessed as of gramamr school ability are promoted alongside them. This is a significant number (possibly as many as 60). Full for September 2012 entry.
Hundred of Hoo School in Medway was placed in Special Measures in 2009, the headteacher left the school, and a new Executive Head, Dr Gary Holden, Head of Sir Joseph Williamson's Mathematical School, was appointed, along with an Interim Executive Board of Governors. I appeared on BBC South East commenting on what sadly was an unsurprising decision, as parents had been expressing concerns about the school for some years, with poor standards of achievement, poor teaching and poor leadership being singled out for criticism in the OFSTED report. It does beg the question, why was action not taken earlier by Medway Council? After a Satisfactory OFSTED in 2010, OFSTED returned in 2012 and found the school Good. The school has now become an academy as part of the Williamson Trust. Some excerpts from the OFSTED Report - Information about this school: The Hundred of Hoo Academy became a sponsored academy on 1 September 2011; When its predecessor school, The Hundred of Hoo Comprehensive School, was last inspected by Ofsted, it was judged to be a satisfactory school; The Hundred of Hoo Academy is a larger than average-sized secondary school and has a sixth form; It is located within an area that operates a selective school system; The academy is a member of The Williamson Trust, which includes a nearby grammar school for boys and two local primary schools; An executive Principal provides support to all four schools and the academy is run by a head of school; The academy operates a resourced provision, for around 50 students with autism, called the St Werburgh Centre; The proportion of students known to be eligible for the pupil premium is broadly in line with the national average; The proportion of disabled students and those who have special educational needs is above that found nationally; The proportion of students supported through school action is just above average, whereas the proportion of students supported through school action plus or with a statement of special educational needs is well above average; The academy meets the government’s current floor standard, which sets the minimum levels expected for students’ attainment and progress. Key findings: This is a good school; Students make good progress from their very low starting points; Disabled students and those with special educational needs make equally good progress; The quality of teaching is good and some is outstanding; Teaching has improved since the academy opened and most teachers plan their lessons well to make sure that students achieve as well as they should; Teachers mark students’ work regularly and provide them with very helpful comments on how to achieve the next level of attainment; Students behave well and feel safe in the academy; Students’ attendance is in line with the national average; Leaders, managers and governors have an accurate understanding of the academy’s strengths and have taken decisive action to improve the quality of teaching and raise standards further; This is an academy that continues to improve; The subjects and qualifications available to students in all three key stages have been chosen thoughtfully in order to ensure that every student can be well prepared for the next stage in their school career; The skilled and committed governing body actively challenges leaders when necessary; The sixth form is good - Students achieve well and make a positive contribution to the life of the academy.It is not yet an outstanding school because: Some teaching still requires improvement and students do not always respond to what teachers ask them to do when they mark their work; Students are sometimes too dependent on their teachers and there are not always enoughchallenging activities for the most able students; Not all teachers match the work well enough to the needs of individual students; Although improving, students’ achievement is better in some subjects than in others. September 2012 entry, some free spaces, but far fewer than in previous years as the school loses its negative image.