of the Canterbury Academy decision which it claims has created the following "detrimental and irreversible effect on projected numbers" - b Most of the content of the OFSTED Report, uniquely in my experience, is based on historical 'facts' told to the Inspectors by those who have an interest in covering up the real reasons for failure.
taking account of the school’s history of falling numbers and the significant reduction in staffing already necessitated, the local authority and governing body have concluded that the future of the school is no longer financially sustainable;
a full consultation process has been conducted and concluded with a proposal to close the school for all students with the exception of the current Year 10 going into Year 11, with effect from August 2014;
five consultation meetings have been held for parents and carers, with input at each from officers of Kent County Council;
a decision has been made by Kent County Council, following the consultation period to publish a Notice of Closure;
the local authority and school leaders have matched CTS students by post-code to the nearest local school with spaces, and places have been offered and accepted with a few appeals pending at the time of writing;
Kent County Council psychological services have provided one-to-one and group support for vulnerable students and staff prior to students’ transfer to their matched schools.
OFSTED is full of praise for the work of the staff, with a very positive report on all that is currently happening at the school, and the plans for next year when there will be at most 134 students with accompanying staff in a school designed for some 1500 students (OFSTED appears to have based the capacity erroneously on the slimmed down PAN of 150). Leaders have worked "relentlessly" and "tirelessly", two favourite OFSTED phrases, to bring about this remarkable change in attitude and high forecast achievements for GCSE results in 2014 and 2015. OFSTED records that "Results from GCSE examinations already taken attest to a GCSE headline figure for the current Year 11 that will at least match the significant improvements secured in August 2013"; which the school achieved in its nadir year of 2013!
Whilst I had numerous concerns expressed to me by parents mainly from this year group and those forced to find other schools, I have received no comments or enquiries for some months, which I hope indicates that KCC's support for parents has been successful in finding suitable alternative schools for the displaced children. In addition, quite a few moved early to independently secure places in the schools of their choice. A number of children in Year 10 also chased after other schools, some of these securing grammar school places.
The OFSTED Report is vague about practical teaching arrangements for the remaining children especially for next year when there will be just the one Year 11 Group taking GCSE. I imagine that most staff will be part-time at Chaucer, probably based at the Swale Academy Trust schools for the majority of their time. Whatever, it is going to be a most strange environment, but it is good to see a determination to make it work.
One oddity: OFSTED in its Report has approved the appointment of Newly Qualified teachers to Chaucer Technology School between now and its closure. Surely not!
Now, although there is presumably no guarantee or evidence that Canterbury Academy will repeat its increase in numbers, KCC must be desperately hoping that they do, having removed 150 places from the Canterbury total of Year 7 places for September 2015.