Supporting Families
  • banner8
  • banner2
  • banner4
  • banner3
  • banner13
  • banner10
  • banner11
  • banner9
  • banner12
  • banner6

Displaying items by tag: Hayesbrook

Sunday, 05 April 2020 11:43

The Secret Headteacher

Revised 9th April
This is the first of two articles about the Brook Learning Trust, looking at a new book entitled ‘The Secret Headteacher’, to be published in August about one of its schools.  The advertising puff claims it to be
The true story of how a no-nonsense headteacher turned around one of the country's worst schools. The Secret Headteacher has spent the last 27 years in teaching, before which she spent 4 years in the police. This is the first memoir from a UK teacher to be published. Under the leadership of TSH, the school she led had a well-reported journey in turning around its reputation as one of the country's worst-performing schools, resulting in an Ofsted report judging the school "good".

Just a few problems with this: (1) There is no secret; it’s about Alison Colwell, until last summer head of Ebbsfleet Academy, according to an advertisement for the book, reproduced below, although other advertising claims it is by ‘Anon’; (2) It was certainly not one of the worst performing schools in Kent before she took it over, let alone in the country - it was without any form of bad reputation at the time, and was in any case improving strongly before she was parachuted in as head; (3) Ofsted missed key indicators of decline during her leadership, including large numbers of families removing their children from the school, large numbers of families annually placed in the school who never applied for it, and high staff turnover - this is when the bad reputation set in; (4) ‘The first memoir of a UK headteacher’ – unbelievable; (5) ‘well reported’ refers to two puff articles in The Times and Sunday Times, the second being what, in my opinion, was a disgracefully unprofessional performance by the headteacher;  (6) I received more complaints about this school from families, than any other school in Kent during much of this time; (7) ‘confrontational’ is a better word than ‘no-nonsense’.

Published in Peter's Blog

Newer article published here

(This article has proved one of the most read news items on this site, currently read by 111,595 browsers up to 2020)

 Swan Valley School’s troubled past history appears to have returned after headteacher Nigel Jones, who has stabilised and slowly rebuilt its reputation since his appointment in 2003, resigned with immediate effect on 19th November 2011.

The Swanscombe secondary school was set to become an academy under the sponsorship of Hayesbrook School, Tonbridge, in September, but the process was suddenly postponed in June although the website, Ebbsfleet Academy, remains in place. The most recent news, posted on that website, and dated 1st June, includes a letter from the Department for Education, alleging that Kent County Council is holding up the school’s transition to academy status because of an issue relating to Private Finance Initiative. See below for more information on the background.

It is now seven months later, there is no progress reported, and it is rumoured that Hayesbrook School is cooling on the proposal because of the financial difficulties.......

Published in News Archive
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 21:27

Westlands & Hayesbrook

Westlands School in Sittingbourne, and Hayesbrook School in Tonbridge are the first two Kent schools to take advantage of their academy status by offering additional places in the past few weeks, outside the rules on waiting lists and appeals. We can expect more to follow, taking advantage of there being no sanctions against these actions........

Published in Peter's Blog