Supporting Families

Peter Read

Wednesday, 06 October 2010 00:00

Individual School Information - C

 

updated February 2020

You will find an initial article on 2019 allocations here, an article on 2019 oversubscription data for grammar schools here, and for non-selective schools hereFor Grammar School Preferences, only grammar qualified are counted. The PAN is the Published Admission Number and refers to the number of places available in the year group for each school. If additional places were offered, I have recorded this under PAN.  

A Report on 2019 Appeals Outcomes hereFor Attainment 8 and Progress 8 and further information on the performance of all Kent schools with 2019 GCSE scores go to here for explanation.

In the Individual performance table, under the A Level Progress heading for 2019, you will find a set of data like this: -0.37(BA,104,D+, 60). This tells you that the school has a Progress performance level at A Level of -0,37, which is Below Average, 104 students took at least one A Level with an average Grade of D+, with 60 students taking three A Levels. 

The Canterbury Academy . (previously The Canterbury High School). Is in Federation with Canterbury Primary School, and  several sporting centres providing excellent facilities, together forming (slightly confusingly) The Canterbury Academy (a multi-academy trust), set up in 2010. Children at Canterbury Primary (Previously Beauherne Primary) have priority for admission after Children in Care and 15% of places going to children with musical ability. Progress 8 within normal limits.  The school has an massive Sixth Form, taking in students from a range of schools, including grammar schools, up to 160 for 2017 entry. 

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
  PAN 
1st
preferences
1st prefs
not offered
Vacant
places
2014 230 253 48 0
2015 180 204 47

0

2016 210 258 76 -1
2017 210 214 33 0
2018 210 214 35 0
2019 210 220 33
. PAN increased to 210 for September 2016 admission. For 2017 entry, eventually admitted all who applied and persevered, without appeal. 
 
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES 
  Appeals Heard Upheld
2014 8 8
2015 0 0
2016 11 11
2017 No appeals  
2018 No appeals  
2019 No appeals  
 
Although oversubscribed, the school expects to lose some students to grammar school appeals. As a result, if unsuccessful, it is worthwhile persisting with an application and appeal, as usually nearly all such efforts prove successful. 
  
PERFORMANCE DATA
  Progress 8 Attainment 8
Grade 5 or 
above Eng & Maths
A Level
Progress Scores
2017 -0.04 (A) 42 23% -0.22(BA)
2018 -0.48(BA) 38 25% -0.38(BA) 
2019 -0.51 (WBA) 37.5 25% -0.34(BA,114,D+,58) 
 
 
CANTERBURY OFSTED RECORD
 
Inspection
Type
Outcome
Oct 2017 Full Good
May 2016 Monitoring Effective Action
Oct  2015 Full Requires Improvement
Apr 2012 Full Good

 ===========================================================================

 
Castle Community College (Deal), now renamed Goodwin Academy.
 
Castlemount School, Dover. Historic building destroyed by fire, believed to be arson in 1973. Rebuilt. Closed 1991.  
 
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Charles Dickens School, Broadstairs.  Dramatic fall to OFSTED Special Measures September 2014, from Good in May 2011 - see article. In a Monitoring Inspection in December 2014, OFSTED found rapid improvement, casting doubt on the original finding, see article. February 2015, OFSTED found further Reasonable progress. In spite of this, the school was still heavily oversubscribed for September 2015, rejecting 44 first choices, showing a combination of continued faith by parents and the 'fear of the Marlowe Academy' effect. Headteacher retired with immediate effect October 2015, following further fall in 5 GCSEs A*-C to 30% in 2015. See article. OFSTED April 2016: Effective Action to remove SM.  There were 5 monitoring visits by OFSTED and in March 2017 the school became an academy, sponsored by Barton Court Academy Trust.

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
  PAN 
1st
preferences
1st prefs 
not offered
2015 232 194 44
2016 232 164 30
2017 232 198 33
2018 210 214 35
2019 232 219 77 
 
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES
  Appeals Heard Upheld
2014 28 4
2015 27 8
2016 15 8
2017 27 5
2018 27 6
2019 32 7
 
 
PERFORMANCE DATA
Progress 8 Attainment 8
Grade 5 or 
above Eng & Maths
A Level
Progress Scores
2016 -0.14 44.8
2017 -0.21 (BA) 36.8 19% 0.22(A)
2018 -0.66(WBA) 33.9 16%  n/a
2019 -0.90 (WBA) 34.3 14%  n/a

Progress 8 in 2019, fifth lowest in Kent

  

CHARLES DICKENS OFSTED RECORD
 
Inspection
Type
Outcome
Jun 2019 Full Requires Improvement*
Apr 2016 Monitoring Effective Measures
Dec 2015 Monitoring Effective Measures
Apr 2015 Monitoring Reasonable Progress
Dec 2014 Monitoring Plans Fit for Purpose
Sep 2014 Full Special Measures
May 2011 Full Good

 * After Academisation

============================================================================

Chatham and Clarendon Grammar School (The Federation of Ramsgate Grammar Schools - not to be confused with Chatham Grammar in Medway). The two Thanet grammar schools become a Federation in the light of falling rolls in Thanet in September 2009. The combined sixth form of some 500 students provides scope for new teaching options and specialisms. The Federation became a single academy in 2012 with both single sex and co-educational lessons in the main school and a fully co-educational sixth form, Mrs Liddicoat having been promoted to become Chief Executive, after a previous disastrous appointment left suddenly.   Numbers well up in past two years to September 2017. 

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
  PAN 
1st
preferences
Vacant
places
2014 180 103 67
2015 189 125 56
2016 180 145 26
2017 180 142 23
2018 180 168 0
2019 180 154 5

In 2018, all 168 grammar qualified first choices were offered places

 
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES
  Appeals Heard Upheld
2014 99 62
2015 136 33
2016 113 47
2017 104 66
2018 82 54
2019 130 18
 
For 2019 entry an amazing 130 appeals, partly brought about by parents trying to avoid local unpopular non-selective schools. Changed Appeal Panel provider to KCC for 2017 appeals, to increase numbers, as shown by increase. For 2018 the school was indirectly attacked by a neighbouring grammar school headteacher for admitting such a large number through appeals upheld, blaming it on the appeal panel for 'forcing' the school to admit the extra numbers. The consequence was the large fall in the success rate for 2019!
 
PERFORMANCE DATA
  Progress 8 Attainment 8
Grade 5 or 
above Eng & Maths
A Level
Progress Scores
2016 0.19 65.0  
2017 -0.23 (BA) 58.2 74% -0.33(BA)
2018 -0.02(A) 61.4 80% -0.40(BA)
2019 -0.08 (A) 62.9 83%  -0.40(BA,241.C-,215)

 

OFSTED RECORD
 
Inspection
Type
Outcome
May 2018 Short Good 
Sep 2014 Full Good

==============================================================================

Chaucer Technology College Canterbury. CLOSED IN JULY 2014.  See article for 2014 update.  

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Community College Whitstable - now The Whitstable School

==========================================================================

Cornwallis Academy, Maidstone.  Sponsored by the Future Schools Trust.  This was formed from the Cornwallis School, previously a heavily oversubscribed successful secondary school in south Maidstone. The Academy was rebuilt at a cost of some £31 million. The Academy places great emphasis on technology. The Academy linked up with the failing Senacre and Oldborough Manor Schools and is now federated with their replacement the New Line Learning Academy (NLL), under one Governing Body. Details are here.   OFSTED June 2013 Good.  Issued with Warning Notice November 2015 by DfE, along with NLL relating to poor standards. It was planned that both schools should be re-brokered to Every Child, Every Day Academy Trust. for September 2019, but this was scrapped after performance at both schools finally improved. Recent improvements in GCSE to eighth highest n/s in Kent 2019, Above Average and three consecutive Good Ofsted,s most recently in 2017.

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
  PAN 
1st
preferences
1st prefs
not offered
LAAs
Vacant
places
2015 255 227 18   0
2016 255 196 0 4 6
2017 255 162 0 11 10
2018 255 127 0 11 54
2019 255 144 0 50 0

Popularity has slumped in recent years

2014 - 2018 - no appeals for school admission

PERFORMANCE DATA
  Progress 8 Attainment 8
Grade 5 or 
above Eng & Maths
A Level
Progress Scores
2016 -0.04 45.2  
2017 (BA) -0.5 35.4 19% -0.35(BA)
2018 -0.13(A) 39.3 29%  -0.24(BA)
2019 0.17 (AA) 43.8 38%  -0.13(A,98,D+,33)

 

CORNWALLIS OFSTED RECORD
 
Inspection
Type
Outcome
Nov 2017 Full Good
Jun 2013 Full Good
Mar 2010 Full Good

 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

==============================================================================

Cranbrook School. Day and Boarding Grammar School, with entry at 13+ only until recently. Became an academy in 2007. The remainder of this section refers to 13+ entry. A maximum of 98 places has been available for day students, a high proportion being taken up by pupils from local private schools who specialise in coaching for the school's own tests. The School Admission policy states that the selection tests are as follows: "Candidates take an objective test set by NFER and the school also sets supplementary papers in Mathematics and English. The objective NFER test is the primary test". There is no indication of how candidates are selected from the results of these tests. There have been a number of successful complaints over admission appeals. Latest Social Care inspection of the boarding provision was in May 2018 where it was found to be Outstanding again.  

The school has changed its age of entry to 11 via a long drawn out process to meet local pressures, fought hard against by the prep school parents, and offered 30 year 7 places for September 2017.  Because of high demand, the school is now taking in 60 children at age 11 for 2018 and 19, accelerating the process.  

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS At YEAR 7
  PAN 
1st
preferences
1st prefs
not offered
Vacant
places
2017 30 52 24 0
2018 60 75 17 0
2019 60 74  17
 
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES (year 9)
  Appeals Heard Upheld
2014 6 1
2015 1 0
2016 0 0
2019 3 0
 
did not collect Year 9 data for 2017 and 2018
The one appeal for Year 9 in 2019 was unsuccessful  
 
 
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES (year 7)
  Appeals Heard Upheld
2017 10 0
2018 16 2
2019 26 1
 
For 2018 appeals, one of the 6 children who had been found selective had their appeal upheld.
For 2019 appeals, one of the 8 children who had been found selective had their appeal upheld.  
 
PERFORMANCE DATA
  Progress 8 Attainment 8
Grade 5 or 
above Eng & Maths
A Level
Progress Scores
2016 n/a 66.4  
2017
Low
Coverage
63.1 67% 0.09(A)
2018
Low
Coverage
68.4 87% -0.12(BA)
2019 Low Coverage 65.6 86% 0.24(AA,140,B,138) 

Low coverage as 11 plus entry has not reached GCSE. 

Consistently strong GCSE performance.

 

OFSTED RECORD
 
Inspection
Type
Outcome
Nov 2017  Full Good
Jun 2013 Full Good
Mar 2010 Full Good

 =======================================================================

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 06 October 2010 00:00

Individual School Information - B

(updated February 2019)

You will find an initial article on 2019 allocations here, an article on 2019 oversubscription data for grammar schools here, and for non-selective schools hereFor Grammar School Preferences, only grammar qualified are counted. The PAN is the Published Admission Number and refers to the number of places available in the year group for each school. If additional places were offered, I have recorded this under PAN.  

A Report on 2019 Appeals Outcomes hereFor Attainment 8 and Progress 8 and further information on the performance of all Kent schools with 2019 GCSE scores go to here for explanation. 

In the Individual performance table, under the A Level Progress heading for 2019, you will find a set of data like this: -0.37(BA,104,D+, 60). This tells you that the school has a Progress performance level at A Level of -0,37, which is Below Average, 104 students took at least one A Level with an average Grade of D+, with 60 students taking three A Levels. 

Barton Court Grammar School, Canterbury. Mixed.  OFSTED March 2014 -Outstanding.  Major expansion of premises taking place. Took over Charles Dickens School in Broadstairs, as a sponsored academy.  Consistently one of the lowest Sixth Form staying on rate of any Kent grammar school: 2016, - 77%; 2017 - 76%. Many of  the Sixth Form leavers may have been attracted to Simon Langton Boys which has a large (and successful) mushroom Sixth Form. School has looked several times at an annexe or more recently a complete move to Herne Bay, but has settled for a major expansion on site after the latter proved unpopular and funding became available. 

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
 
PAN 
1st
preferences
1st preferences
not offered
Vacant
places
2014 128 89 1 0
2015 150 121 0 14
2016 150 106 0 19
2017 150 105 6 0
2018 150 124 13 0
2019 150 126  0  5
 
 For 2017 entry, cut off distance was 9.1 miles, shrunk considerably for 2018 entry to 6.286 miles.
The fall in popularity of Simon Langton Girls has increased pressure on places at age 11 over the past three years. 
 
 
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES
 
Appeals Heard
Upheld
2014 68 14
2015 54 35
2016 74 30  
2017 49 9
2018 74 7
2019 64 12
For 2018, 6 of the successful appeals were from the 16 appellants qualified for grammar school
For 2019, all appeals were from children initially non-selective. Another 26 were found selective, but placed on a waiting list.
 
PERFORMANCE DATA
 
Progress 8
Attainment 8
% 5A*-C (inc
Eng and Maths)
A Level
Progress Score
2014 n/a n/a  97  
2015 n/a n/a 94  
2016 0.28 64.6
Grade 5 or above
in Eng & Maths
 
2017 0.55(WAA) 65.44 88%  -0.22(BA)
2018 0.14(A) 64.5 83%  -0.15(BA)
2019 0.09 (A) 62.9 87%  0.02(A,81,B-,72)

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Bennett Memorial Diocesan School, Tunbridge Wells. OFSTED June 2012 - Outstanding.  Sponsored by and Lead School of the Tenax Schools Trust.  Heavily oversubscribed with pupils from families with strong Christian affiliation. Check oversubscription criteria carefully.  Consult them closely, as there are subtle interpretations of the broad categories. Clearly it helps to be an educated intelligent Christian! Pressure on non-selective places in Tunbridge Wells has seen KCC finance capital expenditure for two additional forms of entry. However, as there is no geographical basis for admission priority, many of these have gone to children from East Sussex which does not ease pressure. 28 Sussex places awarded in 2018, plus one from Bromley!  

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
 
PAN 
1st
preferences
1st preferences
not offered
2014 240 296 83
2015 224 261 63
2016 270 249 20
2017  270 289  50 
2018 270 283 49
2019 240 347  
Always heavily oversubscribed. Admission number will rise to 270 for 2019 entry.  
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES
 
Appeals Heard
Upheld
2014 41 3
2015 12 1
2016 9 1  
2017 37 1
2018 24 1
2019 39 3

One of the most difficult schools in Kent at which to win an appeal. 

PERFORMANCE DATA
 
Progress 8
Attainment 8
% 5A*-C (inc
Eng and Maths)
A Level
Progress Score
2014 n/a n/a  78  
2015 n/a n/a 72  
2016 0.51 56.7
Grade 5 or above
in Eng & Maths
 
2017 0.76 (WAA) 57.3 65%  0.55(WAA)
2018 0.97(WAA) 57.8 68%  0.18 (AA)
2019 0.88 (WAA) 54.2 56%  0.06(A,155,B-,134)

 Highest performing non-selective school in Kent, at both Attainment and Progress, having topped the GCSE table for years. 

============================================================

Borden Grammar School, Sittingbourne. Has just about filled over past two years Appeals organised by Independent Appeal Panel Administrator.  OFSTED November 2016 - Good. Lower end of Attainment tables for Kent grammar schools.

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
 
PAN 
1st
preferences
1st Prefs
not offered
Vacant
places
2014 120 84 0 34
2015 150 105 0 38
2016 120 99 0 15
2017 120 116 0 0
2018 120 102 0 2
2019 120 94 0  16

 2014 - 2018 all first preferences offered

 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES
 
Appeals Heard
Upheld
2014 35 31
2015 51 33
2016 44 24
2017 40 4
2018 37 10
2019 37 15

 For 2018, no appellants were initially selective. As well as those whose appeals were upheld, five more boys were found to be of grammar school ability, but placed on a waiting list. 

For 2019, no appellants were initially selective.

PERFORMANCE DATA
Progress 8
Attainment 8
% 5A*-C (inc
Eng and Maths)
A Level
Progress Score
2014 n/a n/a  91  
2015 n/a n/a 94  
2016 0.14 63.9
Grade 5 or above
in Eng & Maths
 
 2017 0.01 (A) 60.6 75%   -0.49(BA)
2018 -0.03(A) 60.1 78%  -0.39(BA)
2019 -0.43 (BA) 55.5 68% -0.37(BA) 

By some way the lowest Progress 8 of any grammar school in Kent, 2019

==================================================================

Brockhill Park Performing Arts College, Hythe. OFSTED May 2016 - Good. Closure of Pent Valley School in Folkestone has led to increased pressure on places for 2016 to 2018 admission, although now loses brightest children to the Folkestone grammar schools, which admit through their own Test as well as the Kent Test.  Turner Free School in Folkestone which did not recruit through the Kent Admissions process in its first year, 2018 will have affected preferences, which explains fall for 2019 when TFS is counted in. . 

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
 
PAN 
1st
preferences
1st prefs
not offered
2014 235 214 13
2015 235 234 51
2016 252 278 62
2017 288 305 52
2018 235 340 134
2019 235 275 51
 
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES
 
Appeals Heard
Upheld
2014 0 0
2015 25 25
2016 12 1
2017 14 1
2018 8 0
2019 19 1
 
 2018: Eight places offered on allocation before appeals
 
 
PERFORMANCE DATA
 
Progress 8
Attainment 8
% 5A*-C (inc
Eng and Maths)
A Level
Progress Score
2014 n/a n/a  38  
2015 n/a n/a 43  
2016 -0.09 62.0
Grade 5 or above
in Eng & Maths
 
2017 -0.05 (A) 40  29%  -0.23(BA)
2018 -0.32(BA) 38.5 20%  -0.28(BA)
2019 -0.27 (BA) 39.0 20% -0.43(BA,70,D, 19) 
 
===================================================================
Wednesday, 06 October 2010 00:00

Individual School Information - A

(updated June 2019)
 

You will find an initial article on 2019 allocations here, an article on 2019 oversubscription data for grammar schools here, and for non-selective schools hereFor Grammar School Preferences, only grammar qualified are counted. The PAN is the Published Admission Number and refers to the number of places available in the year group for each school. If additional places were offered, I have recorded this under PAN.  

A Report on 2019 Appeals Outcomes hereFor Attainment 8 and Progress 8 and further information on the performance of all Kent schools with 2019 GCSE scores go to here for explanation. 

In the Individual performance table, under the A Level Progress heading for 2019, you will find a figure like this: -0.37(BA,104,D+, 60). This tells you that the school has a Progress performance level at A Level, of -0,37, which is Below Average, 104 students took at least one A Level with an average Grade of D+, with 60 students taking three A Levels. 

 The Abbey School, Faversham. OFSTED May 2017 - Good. Has been picking up in reputation over past five years, although performance in 2017 and 2018 has fallen.  

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
  PAN 
1st
preferences
1st preferences
not offered
Vacant
places
2014 210 141  0 12 
2015
210
154
0
0
2016
210
164
0
0
2017 230 200 3 0
2018 210 199 12 0
2019 210 179 0 0

For 2017 entry, oversubscribed with first choices for the first time even after having expanded by 20 places. In recent years has been picking up pupils from Whitstable.

2014 - 2019 no appeals for school admission

PERFORMANCE DATA
 
Progress 8
Attainment 8
% 5A*-C (inc
Eng and Maths)
A Level
Progress Score
2014 n/a n/a  38  
2015 n/a n/a 46  
2016 -0.05 45.3
Grade 5 GCSE
Maths & Eng
 
2017 -0.41 (BA) 37.4 12% -0.77(WBA)
2018  -0.26 (BA) 36.6 18%  -0.52(BA)
2019 -0.40 (BA) 37.3 25%  -0.7 (WBA,21,D-,4)

Lowest A Level Progress Score in Kent for 2017

==============================================================

Angley School, Cranbrook. Now closed and re-opened as High Weald Academy

============================================================

The Archbishop's School, Canterbury.  Was a very popular Canterbury school. The school has small classes but surprisingly did not attract a good OFSTED having been found to Require Improvement in both 2012 and October 2013. However most recent OFSTED in January 2016 found that the school is now Good.  Popularity is declining with a further sharp fall, the school offering places to 38 children who are Local Authority Allocations for 2019 admission. The headteacher left the school mid June 2019, deciding to 'step away', presumably paying the price for poor performance.

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
 
PAN 
1st
preferences
1st preferences
not offered
2014 140 137 16
2015 140 112 3
2016 140 101 6
2017 150 125 17
2018 140 96 9
2019 140 64 0

Popularity as been declining broadly since 2014, with 2018 picking up a large number of second choices and  2019 a disaster, the school having to admit 38 children who are Local Authority Allocations which has filled it up before grammar school appeals. 

 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES
  Appeals Heard Upheld
2014 4 2
2015 0 0
2016 0 0
2017 0 0

With traditionally a high number of grammar school appeals successful, it is likely that nearly all who persevere will secure a  place, as can be seen by the absence of appeals in the past four years.

PERFORMANCE DATA
 
Progress 8
Attainment 8
% 5A*-C (inc
Eng and Maths)
A Level
Progress Score
2014 n/a n/a  48  
2015 n/a n/a 48  
2016 -0.31 45.2
Grade 5 GCSE
Maths & Eng
 
2017 -0.38 (BA) 38.3 19% -0.42 (BA)
2018 -0.33 (BA) 38.9 15%  -0.42(BA)
2012 -0.68 (WBA) 37.8 16% -0.66(WBA,48,D,21) 

Surprisingly low GCSE performance for a church school that was oversubscribed for the relevant years.

Eighth lowest Progress 8 in Kent, 2019

===========================================================

Astor College (A Specialist College for the Arts), Dover.  10% of places awarded on ability in the visual arts. The school is part of the Dover Federation of the Arts, in conjunction with Shatterlocks Infant School, Barton Junior School and White Cliffs Primary College of the Arts.  OFSTED March-July 2015, after a controversial series of events, when the school was initially placed in Special Measures, it was found to Require Improvement, down from Good.  Plenty of vacancies each year. See article. GCSE performance hovers around the government floor standard each year, falling below it to 35% A*-Cs for 2014 and 29% for 2015. Given full warning by government as to its performance in October 2015. Run by controversial Chief Executive Chris Russell, although he retired from his seconded position as Executive Principal of the Duke of York's Royal Military School, also an academy in Dover, in December 2016 and has now retired leaving the school in a difficult place.    

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
 
PAN 
1st
preferences
Vacant
places
2014 210 155  24 
2015 210 151 28
2016 210 109 86
2017 210 101 84
2018 210 120 9
2019 2010 107 88

2018 58 LAAs; No admission appeals. 

PERFORMANCE DATA
 
Progress 8
Attainment 8
% 5A*-C (inc
Eng and Maths)
A Level
Progress Score
2014 n/a n/a  35  
2015 n/a n/a 29  
2016 -0.22 40.8
Grade 5 GCSE
Maths & Eng
 
2017 -0.45 (BA) 32.8 9%  -0.26(BA)
2018 -0.76 (WBA) 33.4 13%  -0.49(BA)
2019 -0.81(WBA) 33.3 14% -0.31(BA,54,D,34) 

You will find the coverage of previous controversy here. Suffers academically from additional pupils being selected locally for grammar school through the Dover Test. Progress 8 sixth lowest in Kent in 2017, Attainment 8 Sixth lowest. Similar in 2018

==========================================================

Aylesford School - Sports College. Completely rebuilt around 2010 under a PFI scheme. OFSTED January 2014 - Good.  After a period when the school was not popular, it was oversubscribed for 2014 and 2015. Now on nosedive, with Ofsted Nov 2017 Requires Improvement and some of the lowest GCSEs in Kent. Now taken over as a sponsored academy by Wrotham School. 

 

 INITIAL ALLOCATIONS 
 
PAN 
1st
preferences
1st preferences
not offered
Vacant
places
2014 180 151 
2015
180
183
23
0
2016
180
120
0
32
2017 180 104 0 16
2018 180 80 0 24
2019 180 118 0 0
Numbers boosted by children from Bluebell Hill area in Medway, 25 in 2017, 20 in 2018. 
46 LAAs in 2018.
Filled with 25 LAAs in 2019
  
 APPEALS FOR SCHOOL PLACES
  Appeals Heard Upheld
2014 0 0
2015 5 5
2016 0 0
2017 0 0
 
No appeals 2018-19
PERFORMANCE DATA
 
Progress 8
Attainment 8
% 5A*-C (inc
Eng and Maths)
A Level
Progress Score
2014 n/a n/a  37  
2015 n/a n/a 30  
2016
-0.56
41.0
Grade 5 GCSE
Maths & Eng
 
2017 -1.05 (WBA) 32.1 9% -0.33(BA)
2018 -0.66 (WBA) 35.3 12% low numbers
2019 -0.43 (BA) 37.3 18%  No entries

Once above government floor standards for GCSE, the school slipped for 2014 and  2015. Progress 8 and Attainment 8 both third lowest in Kent in 2017, as popularity has slumped.  

 

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Tuesday, 05 October 2010 00:00

SEN Units

Update: July 2017 -This is a brief update of events affecting SEN Units and will be expanded as I have time. 

SEN Units are designed for Students with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP), who would benefit from specialist provision, yet have the opportunity to access main stream schools for part of their learning. They are attached to main stream schools, but provision across Kent and Medway is partly for historical reasons. The Kent Special Education Need Units each support children with one or more of the following disabilities: Autism; Hearing or Visual Impairment; Physical Disability; Speech & Language problems or Specific Learning Difficulties. Each is attached to a mainstream school so that children can integrate into normal lessons as appropriate, for some in preparation for a full transfer to mainstream school. A child will need an SEN statement naming the Unit if they are to be offered a place. If a child has a SEN Unit named in their statement or EHCP, the Local Authority is required to arrange transport. An SEN Unit has a total capacity and can admit children in there are vacancies in the Unit as a whole, so there is not an intake figure for any particular age group. Most common age of admission is in Year 1 for Primary Units, after the child has been assessed in the Reception Year of a mainstream school.

In the summer of 2009, after a six year Review of SEN Units in Kent, KCC quietly published a policy stating explicitly that there would be no admissions to SEN Units in Gravesham, Dartford, Swanley, Ashford or Shepway for September 2010, and for the remainder of Kent from September 2011. This policy was actioned, although when I exposed it, KCC denied it had ever existed, although it remained on their website and field officers continued to advise parents that the policy was in place until Autumn 2010. I then initiated a media campaign to demonstrate the effects of this policy, and KCC finally decided in September 2010 to scrap the policy and carry out a fresh review of all specialist SEN provision. You will find a link to several articles I wrote on the subject through the SEN Unit Review link at the bottom of this article. However the consequences of the aborted policy were significant especially for Primary Units, with many SEN Units run down and some effectively closed through lack of children, as the data published here shows. During the debate KCC maintained that no children were misplaced by not being offered places in Units, in spite of the dramatic fall in placements. 

SEN Units are now an integral part of KCC Special Education Needs Policy and provision is being expanded

You will find a summary of Individual Units here.

I provide some of the historical background to this issue here.

Tuesday, 05 October 2010 00:00

General Information

I am afraid I no longer supply information and advice for children with Special Education Needs and Disabilities (SEND), even though I regard this as by far the most important area where parents need support. This is purely for personal reasons I am afraid, even though this was the area where I first started offering support over twelve years ago.

Quite simply, I am afraid I no longer have the capacity. SEND issues require ever increasing expertise to be able to offer advice in this incredibly complex area, and I have lost the background to be able to contribute with confidence. Issues which often appear quite straight forward initially, have almost inevitably required a major input by me to establish the basis for moving forward. I have always become involved in situations I have picked up, and which require emotional energy I no longer have. 

I know, that if I gave SEND matters the independent attention they deserve, and where there is certainly the greatest need to support families, this would require a full time commitment at the expense of my other activities which I am no longer able to offer.  

I believe it remains the case that families with the best resources and ability to fight hardest in the interests of their children are able to secure the best provision in an unfair world. 

Sorry.

You will find considerable information and advice at: Information Advice and Support Kent including their Guide to Exclusions and   Partnership with Parents.   The well respected national Independent Panel for Special Education Advice (IPSEA) is a tremendous source of support, although overwhelmed by demand. IPSEA also offer specialist help at tribunal for parents seeking an EHCP. 

What follows was written some years ago, but may still be helpful to some.  

Children have special educational needs if they have a learning difficulty which calls for special educational provision to be made for them.

Children have a learning difficulty if they:
a) have a significantly greater difficulty in learning than the majority of children of the same age; or
(b) have a disability which prevents or hinders them from making use of educational facilities of a kind generally provided for children of the same age in schools within the area of the local education authority
(c) are under compulsory school age and fall within the definition at (a) or (b) above or would so do if special educational provision was not made for them.

Children must not be regarded as having a learning difficulty solely because the language or form of language of their home is different from the language in which they will be taught.

Special educational provision means:

(a) for children of two or over, educational provision which is additional to, or otherwise different from, the educational provision made generally for children of their age in schools maintained by the LEA, other than special schools, in the area
(b) for children under two, educational provision of any kind.

A child is disabled if he is blind, deaf or dumb or suffers from a mental disorder of any kind or is substantially and permanently impaired by illness, injury or congenital deformity or such other disability as may be prescribed. A person has a disability for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act  1995 if he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his ability to carry out normal day-to day activities.

From this one can see that a child is not entitled to Special Educational Need support unless he (or she) has a learning difficulty which is not the case for all disabled children.

IN SUMMARY, UNLESS YOU CAN DEMONSTRATE THAT YOUR CHILD'S LEARNING IS BEING DAMAGED BY HIS DISABILITY, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CLAIM PROVISION FOR ANY SPECIAL EDUCATIONAL NEED

Most children with Special Educational Needs are educated in mainstream schools, some of those with Statements are in Special Schools and some in SEN Units attached to mainstream schools.There is considerable debate over which type of institution is best for which children, with political and educational views changing over the past few decades. Kent is no stranger to these debates and is currently in the middle of Reviews of Special Education Services, Special Schools and SEN Units.There are separate pages for Special Schools and SEN Units.

  • MENCAP also published an excellent advice website, and you will find many other sources on the Internet, including Network 81
  • I regret I am currently unable to offer professional advice on SEN issues for two main reasons: firstly, the legislation and rules are changing so rapidly, that I am finding it impossible to spend the time to keep up. Secondly, for many parents, the gaining of statements and support when these are resisted is becoming so time consuming, and in some cases confrontational, that I consider I am unable to devote the time necessary to offer a professional service. Sadly, this may say more about the complexity of issues than about myself.
  • New policies on inclusion mean that many children who would once have been given Statements of Special Need or offered places at Special Schools no longer qualify. The relevant Special Needs funds have now been delegated to schools which have freedom to use them for other purposes.
  • Many schools operate excellent polices to support pupils; others do not give the same priority. Parents often report great difficulty in securing proper support for their children. For Special Education Needs below the level of the Statement (now EHCP or Education Health Care Plan), provision is by agreement between school and parent. you should be prepared to press the school to secure the support you need, although parents are in a weak position as the school controls provision.

The issue of "inclusion" is a key political debate in educational circles. In 1978, Baroness Warnock wrote a massively influential Paper, arguing that children with SEN should increasingly benefit from inclusion in Mainstream Schooling, a policy which has gained ground ever since, until earlier in 2010, when she retracted her original views, looking at the harm the policy has done to many (but not all) children with severe SEN. A Paper by the Left Wing Bow Group, SEN: the Truth  About Inclusion, probably written in 2009, contains a factual indictment of the policy. Some of the data it quotes are as follows:

On Statements and Special School Places:
 Around 9000 places at special schools have been lost
 The number of statements and assessments issued for children with SEN have fallen by over a third
On Truancy:
 Children on ‘School Action Plus’ schemes, which are replacing statements are twice as likely as other children with SEN to truant.
 A fifth of all children of School Action Plus are persistent Truants.
On Exclusions:
 Special Educational Needs pupils make up the majority of pupils expelled from school at 67%, though they comprise only 17% of the school population
 SEN pupils are more likely to be suspended more than once in a year. Out of the 78,600 pupils who were excluded more than once in a single year, half (49.7%) were SEN pupils.
 For the first time, this year over half of all suspensions from secondary school are pupils with Special Educational Needs (55%)
On SEN and Pupil Referral Units (PRUs):
 Over half of pupils are suspended from PRUs — nearly three quarters have Special Educational Needs
 Two thirds (66%) of all SEN pupils at PRUs end up being suspended
 Special Educational Needs pupils in Pupil Referral Units has risen by 70% since 1997 On Parental choice:
 Around 83% of the increase in Independent School numbers over the last ten years are children with SEN.
 Over half all appeals are against a local authority’s decision not to assess or statement a child.
We conclude that whilst inclusion in mainstream school is very beneficial for some children with SEN, these figures are a compelling argument for an urgent systemic review of the Government’s ‘inclusion’
policy, particularly focusing on the failures of the School Action Plus scheme and support David Cameron’s call for a moratorium on the closure of special schools until a review of the statementing
process has taken place.

The Policy of Inclusion has been followed in some Local Authorities to the extent of near 100% Inclusion.  Parts of KCC, but not the political leadership have tended to support this policy, which saw the abortive SEN Unit Review attempt to phase out all Units, so that the children they previously catered for would be forced into mainstream whether or not this was suitable for them.

The Audit Commission has carried out several Review of SEN provision in schools, coming from the perspective of whether provision is good value for money. An early paper (2001) states: "Most of the parents we met said they ‘had to fight’ to have their child’s needs assessed. This was often linked to a perception that the LEA did not want to pay more for their child". I believe in this aspect little has changed except that the perception may be incorrect, in that KCC does attempt to give a priority to the needs of children with SEN. 

Tuesday, 05 October 2010 15:25

General Complaint Information

  • Most schools take complaints very seriously and these are best resolved by an informal approach. However, occasionally parents are unable to resolve issues and need to resort to the school complaint procedure.You should make sure you have a copy of this - you are entitled to one on request - before following up a complaint past the informal stage. Always put any complaint in writing so that you have a record of the issues.
  • I am happy to advise parents through my telephone consultation service on procedures. However, you need to be warned there may be no satisfactory solution.
  • Any complaints about Academies  should be referred directly to the Department for Education. You will need to have exhausted the internalt complaints procedure first. You will find the procedure here.
  • The Local Government Ombudsman is now able to consider complaints in Kent and Medway for maintained schools, but not Academies (as part of a pilot procedure) about internal school issues, where parents have followed the school complaints procedure. The Secretary of State for Education tried to abolish this route in September 2010, but at that point did not have the legal right to do so. It is therefore possible that he will bring in those powers before long. Before going down this route, you need to be aware that the procedure can take several months and you should give consideration as to what redress you would wish to seek at the end of the process. Further details here.
  • Before this process was introduced in Kent and Medway, the route after exhausting the internal procedure was to go to the Department for Education as it is now for Academies. This has proved for many families to be extremely frustrating, drawn out and non productive.  
  • Sometimes a complaint to OFSTED may be appropriate. To quote from a letter to St Anselm's School, Canterbury, following a special Inspection: "The inspection was carried out in response to serious whole-school issues raised by a complaint to Ofsted. The complaint was deemed to be a qualifying complaint that warranted further consideration under Ofsted’s powers to investigate complaints about schools. As a result of the investigation, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector decided that an inspection of the school should take place to follow up the whole-school issues that were
    raised".
  • Kent and Medway Councils are able to intervene after the internal process has been completed, for Community Schools (not Foundation or Voluntary  schools, nor Academies). If it is a serious case, they may be willing to intervene earlier in an informal approach.
  • Most schools will want to resolve complaints amicably and improve their performance, so will give you a fair hearing, but often there is a resistance to listening, especially if the complaint is about a member of staff, when the school can become protective. Parents often worry about whether the school will be vindictive and take it out on the child. This is unusual, but certainly not unknown I am afraid and am aware of such a case at the time of writing. The only advice I can give here is - know your school.
  • Government continues to give new powers to headteachers, confident that they always act in the best interest of children. New proposals include the power to prosecute children who make false allegations against staff. Sadly I can see the following scenario: "You wish to make an allegation about Mr X. If you go ahead and we don't uphold it, you realise your child will be prosecuted". How many parents with justified complaints will continue in the face of that threat.

 

 

Tuesday, 05 October 2010 15:18

Exclusion Statistics

2010-2011 Statistics

Several Freedom of Information requests I submitted to Kent and Medway Councils have produced considerable and alarming information on school exclusions, especially in Kent. You will find the full article, comment and background here. The headlines, which relate to children with SEN, academies and the startling differences between Kent and Medway are that:........

 *  The first two new style academies created in Kent top the list of permanent exclusions, headed by Westlands School in Sittingbourne with 12. Next is Canterbury High School with eleven permanent exclusions. Both these schools previously had outstanding Ofsted reports, so it is difficult to believe they have difficult disciplinary problems. Other schools with high numbers of permanent exclusions over the year are: Chaucer Technology School, also in Canterbury (11); Hartsdown Technology College (converting to an academy; the Marlowe Academy (both in Thanet); Dover Christ Church Academy; Maplesden Noakes School in Maidstone, Sittingbourne Community College, all with eight; and  and Astor College for the Arts in Dover and The Community College Whitstable both with 7.  

* Of particular concern is the number of children  with statements of special education needs (SEN) who continue to be permanently excluded, in spite of government policy that “schools should avoid permanently excluding pupils with statements, other than in the most exceptional circumstances”. While I don’t yet have figures for this year, in 2009-10 out of a total of 168 secondary exclusions 22 were of statemented children, a further 68 being of other children with SEN, together over half of the total. However, the most astonishing and alarming statistic in this whole survey is that nearly all of the 34 Kent primary school exclusions in the last school year were of children with Special Education Needs, with 13 statemented children and another 18 with SEN. Although I don’t have more detailed information, and it is unlikely to be available, it is likely that most of the  statemented children permanently excluded are thrown out because of behaviour arising from their medical condition of autism, over which they will have no control. Clearly we are not making proper educational provision for these children.

Comment on these figures is contained in an article I prepared for Kent on Sunday, and a follow up item.

In total there were 197 secondary school permanent exclusions, 39 primary, and  15 Special. 

Older Statistics

I have now received through the Freedom of information act, data on Kent school exclusions for the year 2008-9, which contain some worrying details. In 2007-8 Kent had the second highest proportion of permanently excluded (expelled) children in the South of England outside London. Whilst this this has now fallen for 2008-9 (comparative national figures are not available) there were still 253 children permanently excluded from mainstream schools and Academies in the County.Worryingly, 20% of these were children with Statements of Special Education Need, and a further 24% on SEN School Action Plus. This is in spite of the Government imperative that states: “Other than in the most exceptional circumstances, schools should avoid permanently excluding pupils with statements”.  Indeed the figure for statmented children rises to 54% (20 out of 34) for primary schools. These shocking figures for the exclusion of statemented children are likely to rise with the phasing out of Special Units (see below).

One school, the New Line Learning Academy had 25 permanent exclusions in the past school year, and another four since September, more than twice as many as any other school in the county.

DCSF statistics for 2006/7 show that children with SEN are far more likely to be permanently excluded than pupils with no SEN. 36 in every 10,000 pupils with statements, 42 in every 10,000 with SEN but no statement are permanently excluded compared with 4 in every 10,000 with no SEN.

In 2006/7 there were 1050 appeals against permanent exclusion. 25% were determined in favour of parents, although reinstatement was only directed in some 40% of successful appeals.

I will only get involved in a limited number of exclusions, where I consider that there are extenuating circumstances, or that the school has acted inappropriately. In such cases, I am prepared to advise parents on the best way to proceed, and/or to represent them at appeal panels.

  • Sadly, I have lost two just two of these in recent years, both children with severe Special Needs. The most recent child was on School Action Plus, but when we requested his Special Needs file (eventually received after three requests) it showed the school had taken no action whatever to support him in 15 months, despite the parent being on record several times as pleading for help.

In many cases before a permanent exclusion is considered, the school will propose a Pastoral Support Programme. DFES guidance on this is helpful, and can be seen here.

Tuesday, 05 October 2010 15:09

Bullying

This page has not been developed yet

  • Bullying is a serious problem for too many pupils, although most schools have good strategies to deal with the problem.
  • However, some children suffer throughout their school career with bullying, and find their school either denies the problem or seeks to blame the victim for creating a bullying climate.
  • There is much advice around on anti-bullying strategies, for example at www.bullying.co.uk, which also offers links to other sites.
  • Above all, do not accept the advice that if you ignore bullying, it will go away. Without intervention it rarely does.
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 15:03

Exclusion

1st September 2012. New Regulations for permanent exclusion apply from September 2012, which are signficantly different from previous rules and alter the balance in favour of schools. I will publish an article on this subject as time permits. 

The following relates to the old rules

  • Exclusions are of two types: fixed term and permanent (expulsion).
  • Parents will find excellent free advice booklets on Exclusion downloadable from the Advisory Centre for Education. These are available at ACE. The charity also offers free telephone advice.
  • Parents have a right of appeal where an exclusion is for more than five days, or is permanent. A governing body committee has to meet to discuss exclusions totalling more than fifteen days in a term, or are permanent.
  • Often the governors will support the headteacher.
  • For a permanent exclusion parents have the right to appeal to an Independent Appeals Panel, after the governors hearing.
  • The DCSF considers:

In most cases exclusion will be the last resort after a range of measures have been tried to improve the pupil’s behaviour. In schools and LEAs a range of strategies should be in place to address the bad behaviour which may lead to exclusion. Head teachers should be able to refer pupils identified at risk of exclusion, to alternative or additional provision to meet their individual needs, which could include working in partnership with other agencies. The school continues, however, to be responsible for these pupils as they are still on the school roll.

  • Many pupils are properly excluded from school and I will not intervene in such cases.
  • Parents will find detailed procedures here.
  • Far too many children with statements of special educational need are permanently excluded from school. The above guidance states:

Other than in the most exceptional circumstances, schools should avoid permanently excluding pupils with statements. They should also make every effort to avoid excluding pupils who are being supported at School Action or School Action Plus under the Special Educational Needs Code of Practice, including those at School Action Plus who are being assessed for a statement.

There was considerable discussion in the media last week about pressure on Primary School places. I have carried out considerable analysis of the Kent situation and clearly there are critical parts of the county, whilst in others with falling numbers there may well be calls for undersubscribed schools to close.

My analysis is based on Primary school allocations in March 2010, although of course there will have been some movement since, especially in parts of West Kent (see below) where some parents disappointed with their school allocation will have taken up places in private schools.  It is immediately apparent that the most critical area was Tunbridge Wells where KCC headed off some problems by creating an additional 55 places to add to the 765 available. Just four schools out of the 17 had vacant spaces and between them they absorbed the 76 children who were not offered any of the schools applied for, leaving just 3 vacant spaces in the whole district.

Next up was Sevenoaks where again KCC intervened to put in an additional 45 places. This time there were just 6 out of 27 schools with vacancies initially, but after 61 Local Authority allocations, there were still 38 spaces left in these schools.

Gravesham is an area I know well and eighteen months ago I warned KCC there were problems brewing. This year they began to come to a head and in Northfleet there was not a single school with a vacancy, with some children being sent to the new Manor School in Swanscombe expanded to take them.  In urban Gravesend itself, the situation is not much better, with just three schools having vacancies, one of which received 27 children whose parents had not applied for it. On the other hand, there are plenty of spaces going begging in the rural areas of Gravesham.

Other hot spots include: parts of Dartford, Tonbridge and surprisingly parts of Thanet. On the other hand, Dover had a quarter of its places left empty, with five schools being under half full. A total of 25 Kent primary schools were under half full, with three schools taking in 20% or less of their capacity. If government is looking to squeeze the budget, KCC will shortly have to make some very difficult decisions with these schools, perhaps to provide funds for the areas under pressure. The most popular primary school in Kent was St John's CofE Primary - Tunbridge Wells, followed by Callis Grange Infants in Broadstairs.

I have focused on numbers in this article, but we should never forget it is the future lives and education of four year old children being moved around to make the spaces fit.

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