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........... to the Home Page of Kentadvice.co.uk, where you will find the latest news and comment directly below this introduction, with other items in my Blog Page. The website contains over 800 pages of information, advice, news and comment on school matters that affect families in Kent and Medway, which you can access through the index on the right of this page, or the search engine above. You can receive regular news and blog items as they are published via the email notification, also on the RHS of the page, or by RSS. To find a list of all news items, go to "MORE NEWS", at the very bottom of the page, where you will also find a list of archived items and articles by me published in the media.  

Please note that with great regret I am in the process of retiring from running the website. Details belowI am currently updating some of the information pages.

I am also following through some themes as explained in my  Review of the life of the website, and picking up a few stories that come my way. 

If you need more general information please email peter@kentadvice.co.uk. 

For the year 2021, up until December 16th, this website had 153,472 certified visits, from 92,583 different users, including over 46,000 from Kent, who carried out 358,055 page views.
This was in addition to the 2017 email and RSS subscribers, nearly all of whom are based in England. These include parents, schools, education officers, politicians and the media who each received the 82 News and Comment articles published during the year. 
Most Popular Page: Kent Grammar School Applications - total views since first publication 392,008 including 17,149 in 2021.  

Latest News & Comments

Just click on a news item below to read it in full. Feel free to subscribe to the news via the email link to the right or the RSS Feed. If you have a view on any item posted, please leave a comment. Also feel free to suggest items of news, or areas where comment is needed to: peter@kentadvice.co.uk.

  • Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey – Ofsted Special Measures at last

    I have been covering the tribulations of Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey (OAIOS) for the past ten years or so, an early article appearing in 2013 at Isle of Sheppey Academy: All change, yet again. Two constants since then; the high turnover of headteachers highlighted even then has continued, and ten Ofsted Reports all around Requires Improvement Level, have failed to identify the rottenness underpinning this school, perhaps partly due to the open secret of the Oasis Trust’s ability to prepare extensively for Inspections.

    This time, the school was given just 15 minutes notice of inspection, no time to prepare, and has now seen a stinker of a Report, finding the school Inadequate in terms of Quality of Education, Behaviour & Attitudes, Personal Development and Leadership & Management. The final category, Sixth-form provision has Requires improvement.

    The Report pulls no punches, beginning: ‘Too many pupils feel unsafe at this school. Some pupils told us that they ‘have had enough’ of being jostled and hurt in corridors or verbally abused. Leaders and staff do too little to challenge the foul, homophobic, racist and sexist language which is commonplace across both sites. Pupils have little confidence in leaders’ ability to deal with any concerns about bullying or discrimination. Pupils do not feel that they have a voice in this school. Their concerns are not listened to’. The Report then gets grimmer as one reads on.

    Written on Wednesday, 10 August 2022 23:49 Be the first to comment! Read more...
  • The Path to an Education and Health Care Plan in Kent

    This article follows a previous, entitled Kent County Council’s special-education system is on its knees. It looks in more depth at matters relating to children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND) in the first of four planned articles and focuses on the process of applying for an Education and Health Care Plan (EHCP), which give children with high levels of SEND a statutory right to specified levels of support. I don’t go into detail as the excellent educational charity, the Independent Provider of Special Education Advice (known as IPSEA), takes parents through the process comprehensively, with advice at every point, see below.  I follow this up with data reporting on success rates at various stages of applying for EHCPs in Kent last year, and the outcomes of the Mediation process available where there is initial disagreement. I also look briefly at the dreadful record of KCC's performance as measured by the 2019 Ofsted Inspection, and its failure to deliver EHCPs in a timely way.

    Written on Friday, 22 July 2022 18:25 2 comments Read more...
  • Medway Grammar Co-Ed Plans Update: Mainly More False Claims.

    This is the fourth episode in my saga about incompetence, dishonesty, and flights of fancy as Medway Council attempts to prop up its proposal for supporting three local grammar schools to become co-educational. Each time the Council attempts to respond to issues raised in my coverage it scores more own goals!  A recent item published in Kent Online about my analysis produced a response which is no exception. The biggest falsehood this time comes in a sentence that ends with the ridiculous new reported claim that 'with the expected increase in pupil numbers over the next few years it (the Medway Test pass rate) will continue to decline if we do not create this extra capacity in the system'. There are just three problems with this very brief statement. I look at these and further examples of ineptitude below, together with a very surprising and sudden response to my fifteen year campaign to have the makeup of the current Medway Test changed, as it is not fit for purpose.

    Written on Wednesday, 29 June 2022 19:26 8 comments Read more...
  • Proposal to Turn three Medway Grammar Schools Co-Educational: Further Information

    Update exposing further dishonesties by Medway Council Officers here.  You will find my response to the Consultation here

    This is my third article regarding the consultation being carried out by Medway Council to inform parents and others about a proposal to change three single sex grammar schools into co-educational schools, and to invite comments. Unfortunately, the proposal is so full of misinformation that it becomes valueless, and any conclusions should be discarded. Once again, as so often before, the Council chooses to ignore the fact that the Medway Test and Review are not fit for purpose, creating outcomes which are themselves part of the issue, and where any change ought to begin.

    In an effort to tie down some of the issues to inform my response to the consultation, I wrote to the Council asking various questions. The reply completely ignored my key question about the false claim by the Council of a shortage of boys’ grammar school places, which underpins the proposal. Indeed, for admission this September, Holcombe Grammar was only able to find 85 Medway boys for its 150 places, filling up with 47 more from Bexley and Greenwich amongst others from Kent and London. However, in an attempt to justify this major, expensive and unnecessary reshuffle of grammar school provision for spurious reasons, the Council introduced in its reply to me a completely new but nonsensical justification for the scheme, which I demolish below. Quite simply, the ragbag of reasons now put forward in an effort to shore up this proposal are a complete nonsense, as I have proved in my previous article Proposal to Turn three Medway Grammar Schools Co-Educational is based on falsehood, and below. Couple this with the fact that Medway Council has still not put forward a single educational reason to justify the change, and so any outcomes from the Consultation should be ignored.

    Written on Saturday, 18 June 2022 07:44 13 comments Read more...
  • Oversubscription and Vacancies in Kent Primary Schools: 2022

    14th June Update: I am also working to include a look at the shift between allocation last year, and the number of pupils taking up their place at each school. Overall, there is little change, but some five hundred children across the county change schools. 

    There has been a small rise in the number of children offered places in Reception classes at the 437 Kent Infant and Primary schools in April since last year's allocations. This follows a sharp fall in numbers in 2020. There is also a net increase of 51 places available since last year as a few schools adjusted to their popularity or lack of it by changing provision. The biggest change is a welcome and sharp decrease in the number of families not receiving their first-choice school, down by 14%, to 1,695 out of a total of 17,288 offers. The most pressured area is Urban Maidstone with only 3% of its places left unfilled, almost half at one school. This is followed by Rural Canterbury with 4%, having 11 out of 17 empty places at one school. At the other end of the scale is Dover with 24% of its places empty.

    The most oversubscribed school is once again Brent Primary in Dartford, disappointing 64 first choices, followed by St George’s CofE in Gravesham, in its third year of operation, with 46. Nine schools have 60% or more of their places empty.   

    Brent Oversubscribed 2022 

     I look more closely below at: OversubscriptionOfsted and PerformanceKCC's School Commissioning PlanLocal Authority AllocationsVacancies;  What to do if given no school of your choice, and appealsand Cross County Movement, along with the situation in each District (links below), together with the remarkable outcome of allocations to Junior Schools. You will find the parallel 2021 article here

     You will find further advice on what to do if you haven't been offered the school of your choice here. There is an incidental extra in that I have included the high number of very out of date Ofsted  outcomes, one from as long ago as 2006, explored in the District links and here! 

    Written on Wednesday, 18 May 2022 18:47 2 comments Read more...
  • Proposal to Turn three Medway Grammar Schools Co-Educational is based on falsehood.

    You will find my response to the Consultation here

    See my follow up article here for more revelations.

    Medway Council is now consulting on a proposal to turn three of the five Medway single sex grammar schools into co-educational schools, and increasing the selection rate to reduce the pressure on non-selective school places.   I first considered an early version of this proposal in a previous article, but the consultation document is now published for public comment. It is riddled with false statements. The main falsehood is the claim that there is a shortage of Medway grammar school places for Medway Boys, apparently demonstrated by there being 454 Medway girls in Year 7 of local grammar schools last September and 402 boys. The reasons for the differential  are quite simply:The Medway Test is not fit for purpose and annually allows more girls than boys to pass, 2022 entry being typical with 445 Medway girls and 388 boys being found selective. For 2021 entry, not a single boy who had been unsuccessful in the Medway selection process was offered a Medway grammar school place on appeal. At least 38 girls were offered places. Previous years have a similar pattern.

    As a result, because there were insufficient local boys coming forward, Holcombe Grammar topped up with 64 out of county (ooc) boys on allocation this year, mainly from Bexley and Greenwich. The section in the Consultation on ‘How will this impact Medway girls?’, is quite simply a nonsense from beginning to end. Two separate proposals to change Holcombe Grammar to become co-educational have been put to the Schools Adjudicator in recent years. Twice they have been rejected, with myself quoted as the main objector, most recently here. This new proposal presents an even weaker case than these.

    Written on Friday, 06 May 2022 11:50 8 comments Read more...