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Displaying items by tag: OFSTED

As Reported below, the Academies Enterprise Trust (AET), which effectively ran The Marlowe Academy in the last school year, made limited progress in its attempts to improve standards at the academy, overseeing a failed OFSTED. It then made limited progress in two subsequent monitoring Inspections and paved the way for the most recent barely adequate one.  

It also took over three Maidstone primary schools in April 2012, including the previous Bell Wood Primary School which became Tree Tops Academy. OFSTED has now carried out its first monitoring Inspection eight months after AET took over the school which was previously in Special Measures. The summary conclusion of "Having considered all the evidence I am of the opinion that at this time the academy is not making enough progress in raising standards for all pupils. This visit has raised serious concerns and the timing of the academy’s next inspection may be affected" is surely an indictment of the academy chain's input to this school. 

Some excerpts from the Report:.....

Published in Peter's Blog
Sunday, 20 January 2013 07:22

Marlowe Academy - Does it have a future?

The Marlowe Academy failed its OFSTED for the second time, in November 2011, and it was obvious from the Report and letters to parents that Governors and Trustees were still failing to acknowledge the seriousness of the situation. You will find my comments on the first monitoring inspection in March which did nothing to dispel that theory. The third monitoring Inspection report has now been published, and this, together with student numbers and comments made to me,  lead me to seriously ask the question - does the Marlowe Academy have a future? On numbers alone, it is difficult to see how the school is financially viable, with the intake falling year on year to the disastrous September 2012 figure of 62, filling just over a third of the 180 places available. This is a further drop of 19 children from the 81 places offered in  March, although this figure was disputed by a senior member of the Academy who either didn't understand the seriousness of the problem, or was misled into believing the take up was much higher. 

Unsurprisingly, the link to OFSTED Reports on the Academy website is non-functioning (its been fixed since this item was fist published!), and there is no mention of the recent Monitoring Inspection. This Inspection underlines the problem of viability, revealing that .......

Published in Peter's Blog

Medway primary schools continued their disgraceful performance standards with the worst Key Stage 2 results in the country in 2012. This follows the two previous years when they were also in the bottom five of all the 147 Local Authorities in the country. Just 72% of children achieved what is seen by government as the required minimum standard of Level 4 at Key Stage 2 in both English and mathematics, as against 79% in the country as a whole. Shocking indeed, but sadly wholly predictable. Back in April I wrote about the Council’s Report on Low Standards at KS2, where I described the proposals to improve standards and its appalling record with OFSTED Inspections as follows: “With these two sets of dreadful results one might expect to find a degree of introspection by the Council to reflect on why they, the only common factor linking these schools, are responsible for failing so many of the children in their care. Not a bit of it! The first two of twelve recommendations make clear who the fall guys are in this analysis that contains not a single recommendation on how Medway Council might improve its own performance”. You will find my article in full here. At the time of the Report, Medway’s Education Officer responsible for school standards said: “I don't think we are failing children but I think we could do better and we are working with the schools to do better”. I have news for her, which should come as no surprise. Medway Council is indeed failing the children for whom it is responsible, and damaging each one’s life chances.  The full table of results is here..........

Published in News Archive

The Annual OFSTED Report from Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education, published last week, contains damning statistics on the state of Kent and Medway’s Primary schools for the year ended August 2012, which has rightly attracted considerable media criticism.  I was on holiday in France and so unable to make a closer examination of the figures, which I have now completed, and somewhat to my surprise this analysis shows a much rosier picture. I have been collecting data on all OFSTED Inspections in Kent and Medway for nearly three years, and the primary figures up until August are as follows. All figures are given as percentages:

Comparison of OFSTED Reports for Kent & Medway Primary Schools,

against national figures by percentage

 

Outstanding

Good

Satisfactory

Inadequate

Kent

6

35

45

13

Medway

0

34

44

22

National

14

49

32

6

In fact the figures over three years together are far worse than the comparable data for 2011-12, showing that in both authorities, the last year has actually seen considerable improvement,  albeit from a very low base.

Nevertheless, with Kent 10th from bottom in the whole country, with just 55% of primary school Inspections being Good or Outstanding for 2011-12, and Medway immediately behind at 54%, this improvement is nowhere near good enough, and reveals years of underachievement by schools in both Local Authorities.

These facts I knew, but because of personal circumstances have not been able to record OFSTED Inspections since September. However, this report has spurred me to do so, and I will over the next month incorporate them into the relevant pages on the website, at Kent & Medway. What the figures show is a much improved state of affairs in Kent, but no changed conclusions for Medway, because of the small number of new schools inspected........

Published in News Archive

(UPDATED: 12 September)

Kent on Sunday published an abbreviated version of a prepared article last Sunday,  on KCC's handing over of low performing primary schools to academy trusts; the full article being reproduced here.

What follows is an update and amplification of that article, carried out as time permits.

Kent County Council is quietly resolving the problem of low performing primary schools by handing them over to sponsors, mainly large academy trusts, in a dramatic change to the face of Kent education. Interestingly, in Kent on Sunday this week, in a comment on this article, a spokeswoman for KCC is reported as saying "school governors, through discussion with the Department for Education and KCC, make their own decisions to become an academy". Rubbish, as many governing bodies can testify. Government has made clear that low performing schools are required to become academies (no freedom for governor choice there, as made public by the case of Downhills Primary in London and many others); governors report that KCC has put pressure on them to convert; some headteachers who have resisted conversion have "left" their schools; some governing bodies have been removed - in any case conversion sees new governors appointed, sometimes with members who have nothing to do with the local community, usually with a reduction in the number of parent governors, sometimes to as few as one.  All this too often without the knowledge of parents who have no right of consultation over the change. 

A classic example is Dame Janet Community Infant School in Ramsgate, placed in Special Measures by OFSTED in January. A recent follow up OFSTED inspection is highly critical describing progress as inadequate.  KCC ought to have.....

Published in News Archive

In the past two months, three Kent primary schools, all in Special Measures have been re-inspected and found to have made inadequate progress. First was Dover Road Primary School in Northfleet. I wrote a previous article on the appalling management by KCC that managed to lose the opportunity for a new primary school nearby, on the grounds that Dover Road would suffer a loss of pupils, then forced an additional form of entry on the school for the next seven years, without any permanent accommodation. KCC's defence was that the school was unlucky to be placed in Special Measures. If this is the case, how come the school has failed an inspection a year on, for the second time. The report notes that "The local authority is providing support for the leadership of the school", but clearly not enough........

Published in News Archive

Furness School in Swanley is a special school which provides for boarding and day students who have behavioural, social and emotional difficulties. It has just 77 pupils, mostly boys, including 14 in boarding accommodation (one female) on site. All students have a statement of special educational needs and most students have previously experienced significant disruption to their education due to exclusion or non-attendance. Certainly Furness is a challenging school, but one that requires the highest standards for its children, many of whom have had seriously disrupted lives so far, and desperately need the stable education that other similar schools in Kent appear to be able to provide.

Kent County Council recognised there were problems back in February, and the headteacher was removed. However, in such a serious situation the consequences of losing the school figurehead need to be carefully managed, and insufficient thought appears to have been given to handling the fallout. KCC also removed the school governing body at the time, but did not follow the rules in doing so, and they were reinstated, only to be removed a second time - this time properly. The school was closed for three days in February, reportedly as it was out of control, and partially closed again later in the month. Since then KCC has been running the school directly using an interim leadership team and support from county officials. However, three months later, on May 15th and 16th, two of Her Majesty's Inspectors carried out an OFSTED Inspection which has produced the damning report published last week.  

In particular this condemns the interim management and leadership of the school installed by KCC, including the following comments:.........

Published in News Archive
Wednesday, 25 July 2012 07:21

Hextable School, OFSTED Notice to Improve

Hextable School has failed its most recent OFSTED, being served with Notice to Improve. The Report records that the school meets the Government floor standards, and yet the only area it fails is on pupil achievement. A closer reading shows that the problem is not actually levels of achievement, but limited progress after entry to the school. This is then qualified by noting that progress in maths and English in Years 10 & 11 is an improvement on previous years.  Quality of teaching is satisfactory. The school clearly has a challenge in that "Students’ attainment on entry is consistently well below average and the proportion of more-able students is low". Most criticism appears to be levelled at past, not present, performance of students. Leadership is satisfactory and making improvements. This appears to be a reflection of the harsher judgements increasingly made by OFSTED, and an improving school, with an academically low intake has been punished for its failure to  develop those students fast enough. The headteacher has left the school and .......

Published in News Archive

This week's published OFSTED Report on St Philip Howard RC Primary School in Herne Bay which places it in Special Measures is one of the most damning Reports I have read in recent years, the school being placed in the lowest category in all four measures considered by the Inspectors. Parents have clearly recognised this pattern of failure of recent years, as it occupies the lowest take up of any primary school in the county this year, with 76% of its reception places due to be left empty in September, just 7 children applying for and being offered places back in March out of the 30 available. For 2011 entry, it had the second lowest intake in Kent with 56% of its places being left empty. Overall, it currently has over half of all its places empty with just 100 children out of a capacity 210. Poor KS2 performance by the children may indicate one of the reasons for the lack of popularity of the school, it appearing in the bottom 5% of all schools in the county for performance in English & maths in 2011. 

So what is the mystery, and why am I devoting space analysing this issue? In May, Michael Gove announced the names of the 261 schools to be awarded funds for refurbishment, including 14 from Kent. At the time  I wrote an article expressing my bewilderment at some of the schools chosen, highlighting St Philip Howard, given the pressures on the many schools in need of critical improvement or even replacement. This latest news makes the decision even more bewildering............

Published in News Archive

Judd School Appeals have taken place this week, with Skinners at the end of the month.  This is for entry in September 2012.

But................

Published in Peter's Blog
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