There were and remain aspects of both expansions that I dislike, but the bottom line is that many new places have been created in the two sectors and far fewer Kent young people are without a school of their choice. Compare this with reports of problems from other parts of the country.
The 2011 Kent primary school SAT results and OFSTED inspection outcomes were the continuation of an embarrassingly bad set of performances from the sector as a whole over a lengthy period. KCC has been ruthless in forcing up standards, and too many headteachers have lost their jobs, often after many years of loyal service to the profession, but once again 2012 has seen a great leap forward in both measures, as recorded in the pages of this website.
A personal interest of mine is addressed through the recent consultation on Special Education Needs provision in Kent, containing many excellent proposals.
Some may argue that much of this can be attributed to the new Director of Education, Patrick Leeson, but Mike Whiting appointed him and has clearly backed and made possible many of the excellent initiatives he has introduced. I have certainly had my own disagreements with Mike Whiting, and there is still much to be done, but there is no doubt he is going to be a hard act to follow and I am sorry this excellent partnership has been broken. Thanks, Mike, for all you have done for Kent children.