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News Archive - Kent Independent Education Advice

Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys is carrying out a consultation (closing date 15th June) into whether it should join the 'super-selective' club of Kent grammar schools. The proposition is that boys who score over 385 in the Kent Test for grammar school admission and who live within 9 miles of the school are given priority. Currently places are allocated to those boys who pass the test (current pass mark 360), who live closest to the school (for 2011 entry this being 5.157 miles).......

Wednesday, 07 December 2011 12:25

Marlowe Academy

The Marlowe Academy, in Ramsgate, currently a failing school, having been served with a 'Notice to Improve' by OFSTED in October, is evidently in further difficulties. Principal, Ian Johnson, left suddenly last summer, although he enjoyed a high profile as an unofficial spokesman for Academies, and had served as Acting Principal at the Spires academy in Canterbury - a matter of criticism in the Marlowe OFSTED Report because of his absence from his prime role. In May, there was a monitoring Inspection which found satisfactory progress from the 'Notice to Improve' but did not change the status. 

What was not made known at the time ............

The Report on the 'thorough investigation' into the problems with the Medway Test has now been published. Parents may be relieved to learn that "thankfully the children were not adversely affected" although the large number of complaints reportedly received by Medway Council and the Local Government Ombudsman, the record number of entries on a Medway Messenger blog (currently standing at 514)  and my own email inbox suggest otherwise.  According to Mr Les Wicks, Portfolio holder for Education at Medway Council (Serving You),.......

The OFSTED decision to place Dover Road Primary School into Special Measures should be a matter of acute embarrassment to Kent County Council. I have recorded elsewhere my concerns about the shortage of places in North West Kent, especially urban Northfleet in Gravesham, expected for summer 2011. The problem in Northfleet was exacerbated by KCC's failure .........

Thursday, 29 September 2011 15:42

Good news for Kent Special Education Needs

I was delighted to accept an invitation to the opening of the Laural Centre, an SEN Unit  for children on the Autistic Spectrum, attached to The North School in Ashford. This is the first Unit to be opened since the reversal of county policy two years ago that sought to phase out all SEN units in the county. The Centre was opened by Paul Carter, Leader of KCC, who has been a strong champion of SEN Units and Special Schools in Kent........

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 21:26

Medway Test Shambles

There is no doubt that the planning and operation of the Medway Tests at the Rainham School for Girls and Chatham Grammar School for Boys  was a shambles and the problems should never have occurred. Details are explained in the news item elsewhere in this website. Last year I was involved in a similar controversy at the Chatham Grammar School for Boys centre, which resulted in the Ombudsman and Medway Council agreeing on the faults and the Council promising to do better for 2011. In fact, the quality of provision at these two sites is, in my judgment, considerably worse......

That's right! I have won two thirds of all successful complaints about maladministration of admission appeal panels for academies  settled by 31st August! To be fair that is two complaints won on behalf of clients out of a total of three upheld across the country (actually they are all for Kent schools). The Young People's Learning Agency (YPLA) resolves complaints on behalf of the  Department of Education, replacing the process operated for maintained school Appeal Panels by the Local Government Ombudsman..........

I now have the results of all the secondary school appeals of my clients in, and its is the best year so far for me in the eight years I have been running Kent Independent Education Advice. A massive 90% of my clients have won appeals, although there are several others whose cases have not been concluded as they are complaining about maladministration. The website, which was set up in its current form in January, is being well used primarily by Kent and Medway browsers, with a total of 31,613 visits from 19,526 unique visitors between February and June.....

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