25 teaching staff left in the summe,r to be replaced by just ten in September, although this reduction may be partially explained by a cost-saving exercise in shortening the teaching day to end at 3.10 p.m., from the previous 5 p.m.
A new Principal and Vice Principal joined the school in September and are clearly having a positive effect, although there are still too many negatives in the Report, compared with other schools who are working to get out of Special Measures at the same stage. This is in spite of the Trustees hiring the expertise of a large academy chain which effectively ran the academy for the last school year. Kent County Council is a sponsor of the Academy, and appoints two Trustees through whom, theoretically they can influence the actions of the academy. However, according to the list of Trustees, one of these is Graham Badman, previously Managing Director of Children, Families and Education for Kent County Council at the time the Marlowe Academy was set up. However he left KCC in 2008, to go on to other challenges, and one has to ask how and to what effect his expertise is applied. The second KCC Trustee retired from the Council two years ago, so it is difficult to see how the county can intervene in what is an increasinlgy embarrassing situation for Kent's first Academy set up in 2005, which is situated in purpose built premises, costing thirty million pounds .
Student rolls are forecast to be stable in Thanet for the next five years, so it is difficult to see how numbers can increase unless the academy can attract them from other local schools, all of which are currently enjoying considerably more success. It is evident that, unless this decline in numbers can be rapidly reversed, the school has no future. Figures for 2013 entry will become available in March. They will prove very interesting and one must hope that this time, the Trustees will understand their significance.