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Sunday, 27 January 2013 19:42

Chaucer Technology School: : Headteacher Resigns

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The Headteacher of Chaucer Technology School in Canterbury has resigned with immediate effect, the second Kent secondary head to go in such a way in just a few months, following the head of Swan Valley School in Swanscombe. The head of Hextable School, also featured on this website. went just before the end of last summer term. Although there is no formal indication of the reasons for the departure of the Chuacer headteacher, there are signs that this was on the cards. The school is consulting on plans to become a Sponsored Academy, becoming part of a multi-sponsored trust, presumably one of the large academy chains, many of which would dispense with the previous leadership in a struggling school, most academies on this model starting with a new headteacher. 

There is no doubt that Chaucer Technology is struggling at present,.....


having slipped from being a heavily oversubscribed school a few years ago, to become the Kent school with the second highest proportion of vacant spaces, 72% empty in Year Seven, with just 90 students out of a capacity of 235. This is a dramatic decline on the figures of four years ago, there being 202 students currently in Year 11. It has attempted to lessen the spare capacity by reducing its intake to 150 places for entry in September 2013.  Its problems were exacerbated as it had 139 students offered places in March, only to see 49 of these head off to other schools before September, possibly the highest number of rejections in Kent. I am aware of some of these issues, as too many parents contact me seeking alternative schools after being offered Chaucer. 

It has consistently been one of the lowest performers at GCSE over the past few years, and clearly has problems with discipline, heading the table for the number of permanent exclusions in Kent in 2011-12, with 11 out of 157 in total, one of just for schools with 6 or more exclusions, with the same figure for 2010-11, when just one school excluded more. However, OFSTED found the school satisfactory less than two years ago. 

Headteachers of underperforming schools in Kent, and probably many other Local Authorities are losing their jobs with alarming regularity but the priority has to be to provide a good education for our children. One has to ask the question whether there are enough replacements  to go round, and certainly the growth of Executive Heads overseeing a stable of schools is spreading across Kent. I have noted the resignations of three secondary school headteachers here - there may well be others; at primary schools there are many more, just one example being given below. One often hears the mantra "no excuses",  and too often the reasons behind a resignation are unclear, but even on this website there are too many examples of headteachers going who have not been given the support they deserve, from Governors, Trustees of academies or the Local Authority. 

Read 27043 times Last modified on Monday, 28 January 2013 10:46

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