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Sunday, 20 January 2013 07:22

Marlowe Academy - Does it have a future?

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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 .......

 

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.

Read 65543 times Last modified on Tuesday, 29 January 2013 20:23

1 comment

  • Comment Link Sunday, 30 June 2013 11:29 posted by Mr ex-Marlowe

    Hello, enjoy reading your thoughts regarding the Marlowe. I taught there for some years. The message I received from an ex-colleague this morning included news of mass forced redundancies for teaching and support staff. It continues to crumble and the head apparently continues to hide in her office all day. PETER: I wouldn't call it enjoyment. This is all very sad for the children whose future depends on a good education.

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