This article looks at the consultation papers sent out out to parents and other interested parties regarding the proposed closure of the Chaucer Technology School, which are reproduced later in this document.
In my view the undue prominence given in the document to the expansion of the Canterbury academy as a reason for the closure, totally misses the point. The dramatic fall in numbers over five years, is purely down to the school failing to offer a quality of education attractive to families. The fact that there are just 26 first choices for Chaucer for September is nothing to do with Canterbury Academy, except that families are clearly finding it, and the other Canterbury District schools a far more attractive option.
The table in the document only gives the expected intake at Chaucer for September if the school was to remain open as 26, rather than the 40 offers made today. 26 is the number of first choices only, but is a realistic assessment, and mirrors the situation of 2013 entry, as most of the children who did not make it first choice did not take up their places having found preferred schools.
I think it is misleading, presumably unintentionally, when referring to places available in the Canterbury District. I can find no reference to the possible destinations of Year 7- 9 pupils. For the information of parents, In Years 7 to 9, the schools with vacant spaces are as follows: The Community College, Whitstable - 242; Spires Academy - 88; St Anselm's Catholic School - 27; The Archbishop's School - minus 5; Canterbury Academy - minus 33. All three grammar schools are full. It therefore follows that the overwhelming majority of the 237 children who are to be displaced from the school in September, will be destined for The Community College Whitstable, outside the city and over 8 miles by road. KCC does acknowledge that children will receive free school transport if they qualify (!) but this is hardly satisfactory. The council appears happy that there will be a 5% surplus in Canterbury District for the new Year Seven pupils, but again this is also likely to be concentrated in Whitstable!
It remains my view that the closure of Chaucer Technology School remains inevitable because of past and present mismanagement as explained in my previous articles...
and I consider the data in the document to substantiate the decision is valid. Because of this inevitability I fear that the authors have not troubled to go into more detail about the background to the closure, and am sure parents would have liked to have seen a more comprehensive document, explaining the reasons for the decision in more detail. However, as always, the closure will happen without anyone being held accountable for it, and a large number of Canterbury children will see their future education suffer greatly as a consequence.
One Year 10 boy, evidently proud of his school and I am sure he has had good experiences, has begun a petition to try and save it. You will find this here. It already has over 500 signatures and page upon page of protest about the decision and warmth towards the school as it was and as it is. All governors should be made to read these and wonder how they allowed this tragedy to happen.