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Displaying items by tag: Meopham - Kent Independent Education Advice

Index

69% of the 18 Kent secondary schools inspected by Ofsted in 2018-19 were assessed as Good or Outstanding. Once again this was better overall than the national average of the previous year which was 67% in 2017-18. The Kent schools were also well up on the national figure of 62% from September- March in 2018-19 (latest figures available). The two Medway schools inspected improved from Requires Improvement (RI) to Good. The 16 Kent non-selective schools were also above the national average overall for Good or Outstanding schools inspected in September to March this year, at 65% equalling the overall national figure in 2017-18.

Meopham 2

You will find fuller data and a list of the Kent and Medway secondary Ofsted Inspections below. There was just one Outstanding secondary Ofsted, with Meopham School having risen from the depths of Inadequate in 2012. The Towers School has also improved, from RI to Good. Four schools dropped in standard including the two grammars inspected, with The Malling School being looked at in more detail below.  I also look at the notorious Oasis Academy Isle of Sheppey, RI,  which appears fortunate not to have been found Inadequate.

In Medway there were just two inspections,  St John Fisher Catholic Comprehensive School and The Robert Napier School, with both seeing welcome improvements to Good from RI. I have rightly been very critical of St John Fisher in the past, but it appears to have now turned a corner as explained below.

Published in News and Comments

 Swale Academies Trust (SAT) has secured a second Ofsted Outstanding school, after Meopham was found Outstanding in January (published earlier this week). This makes KCC’s decision to block SAT from taking over the failed Holmesdale School for most of 2018 look even more shocking as the school blundered from bad to worse under its control during the year. 

Meopham School had suffered from poor leadership for as long as I can remember, culminating in 2012 when it was placed in Special Measures. An ‘Anywhere but Meopham’ cry was regularly made to me by parents seeking advice on how to avoid the school. SAT took it over the following year. It has rapidly improved ever since, with a ‘Good’ Ofsted Report just two years later, followed by a Short Inspection last year. Meopham has been delivering excellent GCSE results for its pupils for the past three years, being the second and third best performing non-selective school in the county at Progress 8 and in the top seven for Attainment 8 in each year. Rightly it has now seen last year’s Short Inspection converted to Outstanding. Not surprisingly, it has become heavily oversubscribed with 224 first choices for its 140 places for September. A new Chair of Governors was appointed last September, Diana Choulerton, an Education Consultant who until recently was one of Her Majesty's Inspectors. Swale Academies Trust doesn't take chances!

By contrast, after Holmesdale School was placed in Special Measures a year ago, the school and its pupils were disgracefully hung out to dry by Kent County Council. KCC refused to hand the management of the school over to SAT even though it had been selected as the Sponsoring School when Holmesdale was served with an Academy Order and left it devoid of proper support until grudgingly yielding it to SAT at the end of November.

As well as further details below, I also look at the performance of Swale Academies Trust in an attempt to see why KCC was so strongly opposed to them  being involved with Holmesdale School. 

Published in News and Comments

Meopham School in Gravesham, a non-selective mixed academy that has achieved excellent GCSE results this year, is proposing to change its status to become a mixed grammar school from September 2018.

Meopham

This school, with a current intake of 160 students and run by the Swale Academies Trust, has published a Consultation document about the plan.  This outlines the proposal if the recommendations of the recently published government Green Paper allowing non-selective schools to convert to grammar schools are approved. Current students at the school would be able to continue on their present courses.  

I can see there would be strong demand for such a school if it came into being, as outlined below, but there are also massive problems for non-selective children in an area where there is already enormous pressure on non-selective places.

This is just the first proposal nationally to become public, and gives rise to speculation about several other possibilities of a similar nature across the county. 

Please note: What follows are my initial reactions to breaking news today, but I will return to it, with a more measured response and updates as they arise.

Published in News and Comments