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Displaying items by tag: medway

Updated Sunday 2nd March

I have now received most of the relevant statistics relating to admissions in Medway. Its press release figures for 2013 entry are: nearly 86% being awarded their first choice; more than 7 per cent their second place preference; and over 2 per cent their third preference.  I also collected further information on the infomation relating to individual schools through an FOI , which has enabled me to complete the table below showing comparisons with previous years. I am awaiting another dealing with out of Medway children taking up places in Medway secondary schools. This will enable me to further separate out the data I have. 

Medway Pupils 2013 2012 2011
  Number % % %
Offered a first preference 2425 86.0% 86.7% 87.2%
Offered a place at one of their top three choices 2678 95.0% 97.7% 96.9%
Offered a place at one of their six choices 2730 96.8% 98.6% 98.1%
Allocated a place by Medway Council 90 3.2% 1.4% 1.9%
Total number in Cohort 2820   2949


Published in News Archive

OFSTED visited Medway Council in January, to inspect its arrangements for the protection of children, and found the Council to be Inadequate, the lowest category, in each of the four key assessments. These are: overall effectiveness; the effectiveness of the help and protection provided to children, young people, families and carers; the quality of practice; and leadership and governance. This shocking and worrying Report follows the departure of the Head of Children's Services, Rose Collinson, last summer and her replacement by Barbara Peacock. Whilst at the time Medway Council refused to comment on the reason for the  departure of Rose Collinson, Lead Councillor for Children's Services Les Wicks now appears to be saying as reported in the Medway Messenger that early last year he recognised Children's Service were not improving fast enough and so Barbara Peacock was brought in. From which we can conclude that the previous Director was dispensed with because of failure to improve services. The OFSTED Report does identify some progress against weaknesses identified in previous inspections, but makes clear that the pace of improvement is too slow and the council has not yet succeeded in ensuring that weaknesses in core child protection work have been sufficiently addressed. For example, the council has been unable to demonstrate an effective strategic response to repeat referrals, which are exceptionally high. 

Whilst this website is primarily concerned with educational issues, Education and Children & Adult Services are run by a single Director overseen by a single Lead Member of the Council, Councillor Les Wicks, who sails serenely on, apparently oblivious to the damage  his department is causing to the life chances of Medway's children. Indeed ..............

Published in News Archive
Thursday, 31 January 2013 23:24

Medway Council: no comment needed

Dan Bloom of the The Medway Messenger has reported on an education debate which took place in a Medway Council full meeting on 24th January. According to this, the Lead Member for Education, Councillor Les Wicks maintained that Medway's exam results were good, surely the only person in the whole of Medway who could think this. You will find on this site, clear evidence of many cases of Medway's inadequacy, and the washing of hands by councillors and officials of their responsibility. For example (1), (2), (3), and (4), although a search for 'Medway' on the site will find others.  

The article reads in full..........

Published in Peter's Blog
Tagged under
Thursday, 24 January 2013 22:07

Kent & Medway School League Table Results

For the second time this week, I have been on BBC SE and Radio Kent commenting on a Kent education story (also previous item below) as Government published the GCSE and A Level League tables.  Not only do I have my reservations about the tables as a whole, there are several different ways of presenting them, to make particular points, for high and low performers.  

Not surprisingly, in both Kent and Medway, the grammar schools dominate the top of each set of tables, with no non-selective school intruding on their positions. If one considers the % of students achieving 5 GCSE Grades A*-C or equivalent, including maths and English, just eight out of 39 grammar schools:.....

Published in News Archive
Wednesday, 27 June 2012 07:52

Medway: new Director & Medway tests

Medway has a new Director of Children and Adult Services, to replace  Rose Collinson, who leaves the service at the end of July having seen her last few years dogged by major problems in the education sector. It may be that the amalgamation of various departments to form this enormous range of responsibilities is too much for one person to run, the portfolio including responsibility for schools, adoption and fostering, children’s social care, special education needs, youth services, working with the voluntary sector, and adult social care and physical and learning disabilities. Medway Council has appointed Barbara Peacock to the post. She is currently Corporate Director - People at Sandwell Borough Council in the West Midlands, with specific responsibilities for  Adult Social Services and Children’s Social Services, but with oversight of the Learning and Culture department. This appears a similar role to her new appointment, but her background is in Social Services, so I hope she is able to get to grips with......
Published in Peter's Blog
Tagged under

The main secondary school appeals are now ended, although places are still being freed up, mainly in non-selective schools through movement in waiting lists. This article is an overview of the latest situation across Kent and Medway, although I am happy to be corrected on details or to add in additional items. In particular,  information on non-selective school situations would be helpful.

 For grammar schools, the main pressure area has been West & North West Kent for boys,   with Tunbridge Wells Grammar school for Boys having 89 appeals, and Wilmington Grammar School for Boys having around 70. As a result Kent County Council came under considerable pressure  from families whose sons had passed the 11+, but had no grammar school place. In the event,  nearly all of these boys have been offered places off waiting lists or at appeals, with TWGSB taking 32 at appeal, Wilmington over 30,  Gravesend Grammar taking in nearly all who had passed without the need to go to appeal. 

Oakwood Park in Maidstone has also taken up a number of these and, after appeals, now has 164 places allocated, leaving its additional form of entry only part filled. As a result, this OFSTED ‘Outstanding school’  is surprisingly still welcoming applications from anyone who has passed and should be able to offer the vacant places without appeal.   I believe that otherwise all these schools are now full, along with Skinners, Judd, Dartford Grammar Boys and Maidstone Grammar. Interestingly, admission authorities can accept a second appeal .......“because of a significant and material change in the circumstances of the parent or child”.  For example, if your child comes up with two Level 5s in the recent SATs it may be worthwhile  asking  a grammar school with vacancies if it will consider a second appeal (it has an absolute right to say no). ......... 

Published in News Archive
Sunday, 12 February 2012 23:17

Medway Council - 'Serving You'

The disgraceful saga of Medway Council's attempts to hush up the scandal of the Medway Tests debacle continues. The tale up to now is told below and in various articles on the News Pages of this website. It is my belief that Medway Council is trying to hush up a number of unpalatable facts about its appalling management of the scandal. As a result,.......

Published in Peter's Blog
Tagged under

I would be grateful for any advice on what to do about Medway Council on the following issue, from the 200 readers a day currently visiting this site. 

However, by a remarkable coincidence, within 19 hours of my publishing this article, Medway Council responded 43 working days after my   Freedom of Information request, just a month after the legal deadline of 20 days to reply, rejecting my request. See bottom of page for more.



I remain very concerned about the Medway Test shambles, which the Council appears to be trying to bury, hoping that everyone will forget about it, although its ludicrous claim that no children were disadvantaged by the problems stands as a  PR disaster, in that it angered so many parents, who would otherwise have just written the matter off to incompetence. I hear that the Local Government Ombudsman is preparing a draft report which, if it is subsequently published, should shed further light on the mystery of why Council officers and members made so many public statements that proved wrong.

My problem is that, in trying to understand further what went wrong, ...........

Published in Peter's Blog
Tagged under

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),.......

Published in News Archive
Monday, 17 January 2011 21:20

Medway Special Schools & Units

Some very out of date. Update in early stage of progress!  The section on Units follows 'Special Schools'. 

You will find the current Medway Local Offer for Special Education Needs here (under Social Care and Health, not education). The Medway School Place Planning Strategy for 2018-22 indicates a change of direction for Special Needs provision in that:

 Over the period covered by this strategy we will be seeking to support more children with SEND in mainstream schools, and fewer in specialist settings. To do this, we will:  increase the funding available to mainstream schools  work with headteachers and Special Educational Needs Co-ordinators (SENCOs) to ensure staff are appropriately trained and have the confidence to meet a wide range of needs and  invest more in adapting buildings, where possible

 Abbey Court Foundation Special School, Strood, for pupils aged 3-19 with severe and profound learning difficulties maintained by Medway Council Local Authority. Three consecutive Outstanding Ofsted assessments. The Nursery and Primary site was new in 2017 and is purpose-built. The school had 148 commissioned places in 2018/19, with 183 pupils in January 2020, including 24 in the Sixth Form, although contrary to the general pattern, the younger age groups tend to be the largest indicating that the school is expanding.   

Abbey Court Ofsted Performance
Sep 2017 Short Continued Outstanding
Oct 2012 Full Outstanding
Jul 2010 Full Outstanding
Jun 2007 Full  Good

Bradfields Academy, Chatham, is unusually for a Special School a self-standing academy. For children aged 4-19 with complex learning disabilities and difficulties [CLDD] including speech, language, emotional, sensory, physical and autistic spectrum disabilities. It is commissioned to provide 295 places. In January 2020 there were 312 pupils, including 89 in the Sixth Form. However, it mainly caters for secondary aged pupils, with most primary age groups having fewer than five children in them. The school was awarded an Outstanding assessment by Ofsted in 2017. 

Bradfields Ofsted Performance
Mar 2017 Full Outstanding
Apr 2014 Opened as Academy
Oct 2013 Full Good

 Danecourt School, Gillingham. The school caters for primary aged children with a wide breadth of need including complex learning difficulties, autism and social, emotional & mental health needs. It is commissioned to provide 151 places, and in January 2020 had 156 pupils on roll. 

The school became a member of the Barnsole Primary Trust in 2015 but, following falling standards in the other two schools, both primaries, the Trust was rebrokered in 2020 with all three schools being absorbed into the Maritime Academy Trust 

Danecourt Ofsted Performance
Jun 2019 Full Good
May 2018 Short Concerns about Outstanding
Sep 2015 Opened as Academy
Oct 2012 Full  Outstanding

Inspire Special Free School


Inspire Ofsted Performance
Jun 2018 Full Good
Sep 2017 Monitoring Effective Action
Jan 2017 Monitoring Effective Action
Oct 2016 Monitoring Effective Action
Jan 2016 Full Special Measures
Sep 2014 Opened as Academy
Serious Weaknesses
(as The Oaks)


Rivermead School, Gillingham 

Rivermead Ofsted Performance
May 2018 Short Continues Good
Sep 2015 Opened as Academy
Sep 2014 Full  Good

RIVERMEAD COMMUNITY SPECIAL SCHOOL, Gillingham (11-19 years) complex emotional and behavioural needs including Autism: OFSTED 2012 - Good School. Excerpt from Report: Information about the school -  Provides for students aged 11–19 with complex emotional and behavioural needs. It is smaller than average in size and the overwhelming majority of students have a statement of special educational needs mainly related to autistic spectrum disorders. Most students have additional communication and language needs and/or medical/mental health needs. The length of placement at the school depends on individual needs, and many students have spent a considerable amount of time away from mainstream education before admission. The provision in the sixth form is still under development. It will be implemented fully in September 2012 and until that time there are no students of this age in the school. Key findings - Rivermead is a good school. The development of the sixth form is progressing well in preparation for September 2012 when new students will start. Students of different ages, backgrounds and abilities make good progress and achieve well. They achieve particularly well in the development of their skills in communication and in mathematics. In the vast majority of lessons, teachers provide students with activities that engage their interest and they use information and ICT well to enhance learning. They assess students’ work regularly and accurately and ensure that students know what they need to do to improve. The overwhelming majority of students make significant improvements in learning to manage their own behaviours, and bullying of any kind is almost non-existent. Students feel extremely safe and secure in school at all times. They enjoy school, support each other well and attendance levels are above average. The school is very well led and teachers’ performance is generally managed effectively. The strong leadership team ensure there is a sustained focus on improving classroom practice and outcomes for students.  The very effective way in which the school promotes students’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development is a key factor in its success.


Mainstream schools with specially resourced provision  (SEN Units)

All Faiths Children's Academy  Primary School Hearing Impairment

Brompton Academy Secondary School,  The Eliot Centre, Communication Impairment Sensory And Communication Problems

Delce Academy - Juniors  The Bridge, Social Emotional And Mental Health Needs

Elaine Primary Academy  Specific Learning Difficulty, Multi-Sensory, Visual Impairment, Hearing Impairment, Speech and/or Language Difficulties.

Hoo St Werburgh Primary School And Marlborough Centre, Academy, Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Riverside Primary School, Academy, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Visual Impairment, Autism

Hundred of Hoo Schoool, Academy. St Werburgh Centre For Autism, Secondary School, Autism, Autistic Spectrum Disorder

The Robert Napier School Secondary Academy, Visual Impairment

The Thomas Aveling School, Secondary Academy, Hearing Impairment

Twydall Primary School, Academy, Physical Disability

Warren Wood Primary Academy, The Evergreen Centre, Specific Learning Difficulty, Speech, Language And Communication Needs, Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Behaviour, Social, Emotional And Mental Health Needs

Medway SEN Units September 2019
  Capacity Roll Sep 2019
New pupils
Sep 2019
All Faith's Academy 14 14 X
Brompton Academy 100 92 25
Delce Academy 25 23 6
Elaine Academy 20 28 X
Hoo St Werburgh Academy 65 65 13
Hundred of Hoo Academy 48 47 9
Riverside Academy 13 12 X
The Robert Napier Academy X X X
The Thomas Aveling Academy 10  8 X
Twydall Academy 17 16 6
Warren Wood Academy 20 28 X



Units closed since 2013, both in September 2018: Horsted Primary Federation, Physically Disabled Unit; and Twydall Academy,  Primary, Hearing Impaired Provision 


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