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Peter's Blog - Kent Independent Education Advice
Phil Karnavas who has been one of the great maverick characters of education in Kent for many years, a breed sadly fast declining in the drive towards playing safe, has retired as Executive Principal of Canterbury Academy after 27 years at the school. A fearsome opponent of grammar schools, Multi Academy chains, and the weaknesses of Ofsted, he was a pragmatist who took whatever steps necessary to benefit the pupils in his care. 
Phil Karnavas
Mr Karnavas' final Newsletter to parents is typical of his utterly uncompromising style, but begins with a factual description of the estate since Canterbury High School became an academy in 2010 under Phil’s leadership:The Canterbury Multi Academy Trust now has an annual turnover of nearly £14,000,000. It employs nearly 300 people (one of Canterbury’s biggest employers). It oversees City View Nurseries Ltd; The Canterbury Primary School; The Cavendish ASD primary provision; The Canterbury High School; The Speech & Language Facility; the largest non-selective sixth form in Kent/Medway and is one of the largest of all schools (attracting many grammar school transfers in). It provides exceptional programmes for post-16 performing arts and sport; The Peter Jones Enterprise Academy; The City & Coastal College with programmes of study for 14-16 years olds in the area, who otherwise would have been permanently excluded by their schools; The Canterbury Youth Commission; and works with Adult Education. It is responsible for over 2000 children.
The Academy website, the most informative and imaginative of the many I have consulted, goes into further detail about the many highly successful innovations Mr Karnavas has introduced since the school became an academy. His unique departing letter is well worth reading, expressing his views and values in words that need and deserve a much wider audience, including the following:

Academies and free schools, of themselves don’t make any difference to standards or education. They are just a different organisational, business and financial model which is nothing other than a policy of centralising power, denuding local authorities …. Academies have nothing to do with the local authority. They are under the control of the secretary of state through an organisation most people are unaware of (The Office of the Regional Commission) which is managed by individuals most people have never heard of. Parents and local communities are marginalised as academies are fundamentally unaccountable. Large academy chains may offer economies of scale but they may do nothing to serve the local community if they are not based in, or part of, it. Irrespective of what one may have thought about the efficiency and effectiveness of local education authorities they did at least have a commitment to their communities and were, however imperfectly, accountable to them”.

There is plenty more on a number of themes where this came from!