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Wednesday, 15 November 2017 21:39

Academy and Free School News: September-November 2017

Update on Aggressive MATs and illegal Sixth Forms below
Another eleven schools have become academies in the past few months, bringing the Kent total to 84% of 100 secondary schools, and 33% of 456 primaries. In Medway 16 out of 17 secondary schools and 58 of the 79 primaries are academies. You will find all the latest changes below, along with new applications to become academies. There is a full list of Kent and Medway academies here.
The number of Multi Academy Trusts continues to proliferate, some with ever more exotic names; you will find a full list of Kent and Medway Trusts here
The government Free School programme appears to be in difficulties, with problems for some new schools of financing appropriate sites and finding suitable sponsors. There is a full list of local Free Schools here; and examples of the difficulties here.…
Four new primary Converter academies in Swale have joined together to form the Potential in Everyone Academy Trust: Borden CofE Primary; Bredgar CofE Primary; Minterne Community Junior; The Oaks Community Infant. West Hill Primary Academy in Dartford has joined the Galaxy Trust.  
The new Cherry Orchard Primary Academy in Ebbsfleet is sponsored by Leigh Academy Trust.
There are three new Converter Academies in Medway: Miers Court Primary, joining the Howard Academy Trust; St Margaret's at Troy Town CofE Voluntary Controlled Primary school, joining the The Pilgrim Multi-Academy Trust; and Featherby Infant and Nursery school joining Maritime Academy Trust along with Featherby Junior School, also joining the Maritime Academy Trust as a Sponsored Academy.
Aylesford School has been taken over by Wrotham School in the Divergent Partnership Trust.
Sutton Valence Primary School has applied to be a Converter Academy and Hilltop Primary in Medway is to join the Greenacres Trust.
Riverview Junior school is to become a Sponsored Academy with the Pathway Academy Trust.  In Medway, Maundene School is joining the Inspire Partnership, a Trust of three primary schools in SE London.
After ending its controversial relationship Simon Langton Girls Grammar, Spires Academy in Sturry joined the E21C (Education for the 21st Century) Academy Trust in Bromley in October, having secured a ‘Good’ OFSTED at an ideal time. A letter to parents talks about: ‘The vision for Spires is to establish a new hub of approximately 8 or 9 Primary and Secondary Schools over the next two to three years’, distinct from the current Bromley hub. Ambitious, given the decreasing number of available and willing schools, and Spires previous reputation.
 
Two News Items
The Head Teacher of St Olave's Grammar School in Bromley has resigned over the illegal expulsion of Year 12 A Level students, after intense pressure from parents and a change of governors. Governors in at least one Kent school have not even blinked, even though the scandal is larger.
Many headteachers subscribe to this site. I have now had two recent reports of acquisitive Multi Academy Trusts, attempting bullying tactics to force schools to join them. Other confirm the promise of a 5% levy to go to the MAT has increased to 8%. Take care.  
Other News
I recently published an article entitled ‘Free School Policy failures create secondary school places crisis in both Thanet and Tunbridge Wells’. This also explores the further delays in the proposed Maidstone School of Science and Technology.
Whitstable Community College, taken over by Swale Academies Trust, has still not become a Sponsored academy, with no projected date reported on the DfE website. It is reported that the delays are over financial differences between the Trust and KCC. 
Financial pressures, especially on school Sixth Forms, are seeing a number of economies being introduced. High Weald Academy and St Edmunds Catholic Academy, Dover have both scrapped their Sixth Forms this year.
Goodwin Academy has at last opened its new £25 million buildings, which will see the old site demolished. The now defunct Walmer School which has been absorbed into it, has been currently left vacant. See previous article for a possible temporary use.
The Sevenoaks Annexe of Weald of Kent Grammar School in Tonbridge has now opened for Year Seven girls, after a controversial birth, also referred to in the article on Free Schools. The pressure on non-selective places in Sevenoaks has led KCC to approach Trinity Free School asking it to increase its intake from 120 to 180. This could be met by making part use of the unused buildings being erected for a boys' grammar annexe which may not come into being in the near future. 
Information
Please let me know of any additional significant pieces of academy of Free School news and I will update this article. 
Last modified on Sunday, 19 November 2017 18:25

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