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Displaying items by tag: OFSTED

Friday, 13 April 2012 22:17

Marlowe Academy - first Monitoring Inspection

The history of the Marlowe Academy Inspections is set out here but, in summary, the school failed its OFSTED in October 2010, being served with Notice to Improve. However, it failed to Improve, and sank to the lowest category, being placed in Special Measures in November 2011. By this time it had lost its headteacher and effectively handed over control to Academies Enterprise Group,  which put in an 'Intervention Team' to try and stall the calamity, but without success in the short time available to it. The school was featured in the Sunday Times and the Guardian at the end of last year, as described here.

The academy attempted to get the verdict overturned, without success, but managed to delay publication until 27th March, a wait of four months as distinct from the usual month that schools have to wait. One side effect of this was ......

Published in Peter's Blog
Thursday, 29 March 2012 09:10

Skinners Kent Academy Success from OFSTED

In complete contrast to the failing Marlowe Academy, see below, Skinners Kent Academy in Tunbridge Wells has just been given a 'good' OFSTED Report. The school has suffered a poor reputation in the town for at least 20 years in its previous incarnations as Sandown Court School and Tunbridge Wells High School (in those days it was hoped a change of name was sufficient to throw off a poor reputation). The Report says: "Most students join the academy with very low attainment. They make consistently good progress and many make outstanding progress so that attainment is rising strongly. Parents, carers, and all students, recognise this”.  The OFSTED took place whilst the school was a building site, as the new buildings rise around it. 


The Report records that 'The number of students known to be eligible for free school meals is above average. The proportion of disabled pupils and those with special educational needs is also above average', so clearly not the typical Tunbridge Wells. It goes on: This is a good school that is improving rapidly. Aspects of its work are outstanding. Governors and leaders are highly ambitious for the success of every student. They have instilled high expectations and a ‘no excuses’ approach to school improvement....

Published in News Archive

In a shocking indictment of the governance and management of the Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate, it has failed its second consecutive OFSTED. In October 2010 the academy was given Notice to Improve. This verdict is failure, with a stark warning that the school must change. The Marlowe Academy was inspected a second time on November 17th and 18th November 2011, and I covered some some of the issues in a previous article in December, antipating the report's publication following leaks that the trustees were to be criticised. This is indeed the case, and one can only speculate what pressure there has been to soften the harsh criticisms which strike at the heart of the academy principle before a very delayed publication today, after more than four months (the norm between inspection and publication is about a month, Meopham, the last failed school was six weeks). 


OFSTED's verdict is the lowest possible, the headline being:......

Published in News Archive

Key Stage 2 results for all primary schools in England were published today, with some improvement for Kent schools, although they are still below the national average. This year there are nine Kent schools in the bottom 200 in the country, which is better than 2010 when 10% of all the bottom 200 schools were in Kent. However, the results must still be a matter for serious concern as the proportion of children across Kent achieving Level 4 in both maths and English at Key Stage 2 continues to be consistently below the national average,.........

Published in News Archive

Holy Family Roman Catholic Primary School joins the growing list of Maidstone primary schools failed by OFSTED, when it was given 'Notice to Improve' in October. Particular criticism is made of the "slow progress many pupils make, especially in Key Stage 2 mathematics; their attendance; and the school’s governance".  The full list of failing schools in the town is: .........

Published in News Archive
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 ............

Published in News Archive

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 .........

Published in News Archive

Kent County Council has appointed another new senior Interim Officer,  Lorraine O'Reilly, who is to be Director of School Standards and Planning, a poisoned chalice indeed........

Published in News Archive
Thursday, 30 December 2010 07:53

Primary School Standards, KOS Dec 2010

Poor  leadership has been blamed after league tables revealed a “devastating” 10 per cent of the country’s lowest performing primary schools are in Kent and Medway. Of 200 underachieving schools highlighted in this year’s SATs league tables, 22 – including two from Medway – were in the county.

The Department for Education findings show the number of children who have reached the Level Four benchmark by the time they move on to secondary school. Although standards were up from last year by two per cent – with 70 per cent of children in Kent County Council run

schools and 67 per cent in Medway Council-run schools meeting standards in maths and English – results were still below the 73 per cent national average. And despite some schools excelling, such as the Pilgrim School near Rochester, which was named as the most improved in England, and 10 others which gained a clean sweep in the core subjects, others fell short.

About 190 schools in Kent and some 39 in Medway failed to reach the national average in the number of pupils achieving the Level Four target.

Gravesend-based education expert Peter Read called the statistics “devastating”. He said:“Ten per cent of the 200 bottom schools are in this county. Kent has a large infrastructure of officers supposed to be supporting these schools, but why is support not turning into action? “If you look at Ofsted reports there are concerns about leadership. What is clear is in a number of schools when good senior staff  leave, standards fall. There is an issue with leadership here. There are

examples of where a school is failing and advertising for a new head. “Instead they need to bring in outside help to get the school back up to standard before advertising.” Mr Read said from his own personal experience, leadership is key. “My grandson goes to school in deprived Peckham, overlooked by Milwall FC, yet 98 per cent of children got Level Four in English and maths.“KCC may say some of its schools are in deprived areas, but I’m willing to bet that none of them is as deprived as Peckham. If a school there can deliver those standards, so can schools in Kent. It is down to outstanding leadership from the head.”

Education chiefs at KCC said they were pleased with improvements – including 42 of the 78 schools that achieved less than 55 per cent in English and maths in 2009 but had reached or exceeded the target in 2010 – but admitted the figures needed to get better in coming years.

Schools throughout the country took part in a boycott of the Key Stage 2 SATs last May after teaching unions claimed pupils suffer as a result of too much emphasis being placed on them during lessons. Cllr Sarah Hohler, KCC cabinet member for children, families and education, said: “There will continue to be intensive support for those schools below the target and partnerships between schools to help raise attainment.

“It is difficult to compare Kent with the national average this year. Only six per cent of Kent primary schools boycotted the tests, compared with 26 per cent nationally. “The results are what they are, but can we be absolutely confident that the national average is a true reflection?”

Schemes have been put in place by KCC to ensure children’s key learning skills are developed at school and home. The council also revealed that for a fifth year running children’s achievements at the end of reception year had improved, with 61 per cent reaching the expected level. Education bosses at Medway Council said they were pleased to see improvements in results, but said that the authority was committed to driving up standards.

Rose Collinson, the director of children’s and adult services, said: “It’s worth noting that, unlike many authorities, the vast majority of our pupils sat the tests this year.

“It’s not really possible to make comparisons between different councils as in some authorities more than 50 per cent of children did not take part. However, I know all of Medway’s primary headteachers will join with me in wanting to accelerate the improvements we have already made.”

Published in Newspaper Articles
Thursday, 18 November 2010 00:28

The Irony of the failing Marlowe Academy

Today, Michael Gove has announced that schools with 'Good' OFSTED Reports can apply to become Academies. Historically, Academies were failing schools that by changing to become Academies, by some alchemy suddenly become a good schools (or is it the resources that do it!). What then happens to failing academies? For today, a published OFSTED Report for the Marlow Academy, Ramsgate, serves it with a 'Notice to Improve' - that is to say, the Academy is failing!

Published in News Archive
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