Congratulations to the Kent outstanding primary schools for this period, which are: Ethelbert Road Primary, Faversham; Lady Joanna Thornhill Endowed Primary, Wye; Sturry CofE Primary (academy), Canterbury; Upton Junior, Thanet; and Warden House Primary, Deal (academy). Special praise to Warden House which has leapt two categories from Requires Improvement to Outstanding. Warden House is one half of the Castle Community Trust, ironically in partnership with Castle Community School, which fell from Outstanding to Special Measures over the same period, and is now to be sponsored by SchoolsCompany Trust. Equal praise should go to Charlton CofE Primary in Dover, which was placed in Special Measures two years ago, but is now classified as Good. In line with other schools that have failed OFSTED it has come under pressure to become an academy, and is to join Aquila, the new name for the Diocese of Canterbury Academy Trust (the Headteacher is tireless and uncompromising in her pursuit of excellent achievement for all).
These figures compare well with 2013/14 as reported here, in particular with Kent having just one failing school, as contrasted with 18 over the whole of last year.
|Kent & Medway Primary OFSTED Outcomes: Autumn 2014|
As the table above shows, Kent primary schools are not only performing well above the national percentage of Good and Outstanding schools, which could just be down to the selection of schools chosen, but nearly half of them have improved their assessments.
The only downside is that of the 19 schools previously found Inadequate that have had Monitoring Inspections, 6 of these were unsatisfactory, showing that where a school is in trouble it is often very hard to turn it around. What remains alarming is the enormous turnover of staff at such schools, teachers and headteachers leaving or forced out of the profession who may well have the potential to give good service but been unfortunate in their choice of school. It is reported that 40% of new teachers leave the profession in their first five years, and teaching simply cannot afford this level of attrition. I have spent the past fortnight working with families who are preparing appeals. As in previous years, I remain horrified at the lack of stability in too many school staffs, with temporary and supply teachers in abundance. In order to achieve good OFSTEDs, schools are having to throw all their resources at coaching for KS2 tests to earn a good league table position and OFSTED Grade, with teaching and education too often thrown out of the window. Question from me: "Has your child done anything interesting recently in school?". Common answer: "No, he/she has done nothing but SATs".
Some quotes from OFSTED Reports of schools in difficulty this year :
"Since the inspection the previous headteacher has left. A new executive headteacher was put in place from 1 September 2014 who is a TKAT regional director of education. Two heads of school were also appointed and began work on 1 September 2014. There have been a large number of changes to the staff since the inspection. Fifteen members of staff have left the academy, including four out of the six newly qualified teachers who started at the beginning of the academic year. Fifteen new members of staff have joined".
"Half the teaching staff have left and been replaced. The headteachers continue in part-time acting capacities. One of them is also headteacher of a school in London, and one is an educational consultant"
"Since the last inspection a significant number of teaching staff have left the school. Many of these vacancies have been filled by newly qualified teachers (NQTs)".
"Since the last monitoring inspection there have been significant changes to the school’s teaching staff, leadership and governance. Six of the seven teachers are new. Currently one teacher is on sick leave and the class is being taught by a supply teacher. Further changes will take place at the end of term. The previous executive headteacher, head of school and pastoral support worker left at the end of the academic year. In September a new executive headteacher was appointed to lead the school for three days a week for one year. At the same time, a local assistant headteacher was appointed to be the full-time head of school for one year".
"Since the inspection in October 2014, two teachers and two members of support staff have left the school. Three teachers have joined, including an interim SENCO. The role of deputy headteacher is held by three senior leaders, two interim leaders are seconded from the local National Support School, and share the post. Two teachers are absent long term".