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Sunday, 12 May 2019 03:14

Kent & Medway Primary School Ofsted Outcomes September 2018 - March 2019

Update: The KCC Corporate Director, Children, Young People and Education has published KCC's most recent Ofsted data here. Whilst it confirms the excellent performance, it neither distinguishes between KCC schools and academies, nor does it count those schools whose Ofsted assessments have been cancelled after they have been academised, some of these losing the 'Inadequate' label. 

Kent Primary Schools inspected by OFSTED since September have again produced excellent outcomes overall, way above the national figures. There are two new Outstanding schools, both having followed the same route. These are Chilton Primary, in Ramsgate and St Eanswythe’s CofE in Folkestone. Both schools converted to become academies following a ‘Good’ Ofsted, then having a Short Inspection which recommended a re-visit for a full Inspection, that found them Outstanding, as explained below.

Chilton                St Eanswythes


Another 86% of the 47 Kent schools inspected were found to be ‘Good’, up on the 2018 data at this stage. At the other end, two schools were placed in Special Measures.

Medway, for the first time in many years, has an improving set of inspection outcomes, with four of its 15 schools improving their assessment, a total of 13 or 87% being found to be ‘Good’, primarily due to a policy of academising all its primary schools, Removing them from being its responsibility. 

Further details for both Kent and Medway primary schools below.

My similar article for the same period 2017-18 is here, and for the full year 2017-18, here.  

For the first time, I have separated out  Main Inspection (Section 5) and Short Inspection (Section 8 ) outcomes in my Individual Schools sections, as explained in detail here and annotated (S) . Short Inspections now take place for some 80% of schools classified ‘Good’ in their previous inspection, and others classified ‘Outstanding. The inspection does not change the classification, but for some ‘Good’ schools there will be a recommendation for an early Section 5 Full Inspection indicating the school may then be found ‘Outstanding’ (SU).  For some other ‘Good’ schools, where there are concerns, a Section 5 may lead to a fall in classification (SC). 

Kent & Medway Primary OFSTED Outcomes
Sep 2018 - Mar 2019
Kent LA
Kent LA %
Kent Academy
Kent Academy
7 83 7 3


Kent Total 2 41 2 2 43 9 5
Kent Total %  3 86 10 1  100 15 9
Medway LA 0 4


0 5 2 0
Medway LA % 0 80 20 0  40 0
Medway Acad 0 9


0 10 2 0
Medway Acad% 0 90 10 0 20  0
Medway Total 0 13 2 0 15 4 0
Total %
0 87 13 0   27  0
National %
 - Dec 18
4 76 18 3
National %
2 81 15 3
Kent Primary Schools
You will find a comprehensive (and up to date at the time of writing) list of Kent Primary School Ofsted outcomes for 2017-18 here.

22 of the 41 previously ‘Good’ schools received short inspections. Of these three: Amherst, Sevenoaks; Oaks Primary, Maidstone; and Sibertswold CofE, Dover, are all to be revisited to see if they are Outstanding. There were concerns about another two: Ditton CofE Junior, Malling;  and Joyden’s Wood Junior, Dartford.

As well as St Eanswythe’s and Chilton, seven other schools have improved their classification, all to ‘Good’. These are:

 Holy Trinity CofE VA, Gravesend, up one. Istead Rise, Gravesend, a school with a torrid past, after being placed in Special Measures in 2013. Several times KCC failed to come up with Ofsted approved Plans to move the school on as documented here. It was then taken over by the appalling Meopham Community Trust under Kent’s highest paid primary headteacher, which only saw it go further downhill, until it was removed from them and has now been academised under the Swale Academies Trust.

St John’s CofE, Canterbury,  another school  whose children suffered a torrid few years since being placed in Special Measures in 2014 but which is now Good. Exceptionally, the headteacher has remained in post throughout, having been unlawfully removed after the 2014 Ofsted by a maverick KCC officer (see below).It remains a KCC school having somehow avoided forced academisation.  Westgate, Dartford, was placed in Special Measure in 2013, KCC subsequently failing to prepare effective plans to make progress. It was then Sponsored as an academy in 2016 by Cygnus Trust, a small local Academy Trust. West Kingsdown CofE, Sevenoaks, up one to Good.

Dame Janet Primary and Salmestone Primary, both run by the TKAT Academy Trust and both up one Good. This follows a dreadful period for TKAT which I described in 2014 as a disaster area, with four of its five Thanet schools having been found Inadequate. Drapers Mills and Newlands were found Good last year, so after more than five years of failing its children in Thanet, TKAT appears at last to be turning the corner, although Northdown fell again to Requires Improvement.  

Two schools have been placed in Special Measures.

Copperfield Academy, Gravesham
The first is Copperfield Academy, whose children have been failed for as long as I have kept records and before. My most recent article recorded that ‘in 2011 I reported the school being placed in Special Measures again, writing that ‘‘it should be a matter of acute embarrassment for Kent County Council’’ (it wasn’t!)’. It became an academy in 2013, sponsored by the Reach2 Academy Trust and escaped Special Measures in 2016 after three years of failure as described in the Ofsted Report at that time, on the grounds that a new management team looked as if they had turned it round with ‘ambitious plans’(they hadn’t). The school has been bedevilled by a very high staff turnover for years (a strong indicator of poor leadership), the high turnover of headteachers under Reach2 losing five in five years, also being reported here.  Still the most recent report praises yet another new Executive Head, who led the school into Special Measures.

For reasons one can only speculate, Copperfield Academy and its predecessor Dover Road Primary have been propped up by local Area Education Officers (including a maverick to be featured in a future article) through the years, putting in additional classes to cater for the ever present pressure on places in Northfleet, even at the expense of vetoing a planned new school, the Hope Community School last year, sending pupils right across Gravesham to find a place.

Dartford Bridge Community School
The school opened ten years ago, and received two ‘Good’ Ofsted assessments under its initial headteacher. She moved on and a new head was appointed for January 2016. A Short Inspection in January 2018 warned that standards at KS2 were ‘a priority for development’ and that a full inspection would follow, although the inspection report was not damning. As a newly built school with a good reputation, numbers kept up and the school was the third most oversubscribed for its 60 places in 2018 for the whole of Dartford. I received two concerns about the school at the start of the year, informing me that the headteacher had disappeared, a common KCC action often following trouble.  A letter to parents two days after the Inspection of 29th January informed them she would be ill for at least 10 days, a follow up being signed by the Acting Head, a remarkably swift replacement but too late for the school. The Inspection Report was scathing for a school which had been found to be good just three years previously, and focused on poor leadership: ‘The school’s effectiveness has declined in recent years. Poor leadership has resulted in standards that are too low and an ineffective culture of safeguarding…The leadership of teaching is ineffective…. Leaders’ oversight of the wider curriculum is inadequate… Parents’ confidence and trust in the wider leadership of the school has broken down… Governors have overseen a decline in the school’s effectiveness’.  As too often, one has to ask why KCC did not notice the rot setting in, especially with warning of the Short Inspection of the year before and with the Chairman of Governors being a senior KCC manager although not in education. An Interim Headteacher was in post by 1st March confirming the previous incumbent had gone in a hurry! According to the rules the school will now become a Sponsored Academy, hopefully not with Reach2!

Three other schools had also seen a fall in Ofsted level, all to Good after losing their Outstanding classification since the rule that excluded such schools from re-assessment was rightly relaxed. They are: Monkton CofE Primary, Ramsgate (previously Inspected in 2011); White Cliffs Primary College for the Arts, Dover (2010); and Yalding St Peter & St Paul CofE VC Primary, Malling (2008).

Medway Primary Schools
You will find a comprehensive (and up to date at the time of writing) list of Medway Primary School Ofsted outcomes here

No new Outstanding schools, but 13 out of 15 being awarded Good, with four improved is pleasing news, but also owing much to the Medway policy of encouraging all its schools to become academies as it has demonstrated in the past to be incapable of raising standards across the Authority. See multiple articles on this site, including before and since this one.

The four schools which have improved are: Byron Primary, Gillingham, out of Special Measures to Requires Improvement after sponsorship by the Westbrook Trust; Hempsted Infants, Gillingham, up one; Lordswood Primary up one to Good, sponsored by the Griffin Trust; and Temple Mill, Strood, up two and out of Special Measures after being sponsored by the Howard Academy Trust.   

Last modified on Thursday, 07 May 2020 18:20

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