After the previous Principal of the Marlowe Academy in Ramsgate walked out of the school in October 2013 (as did her predecessor three years earlier) Mr Heslop, who was Principal of Folkestone Academy at the time, was upgraded to be Executive Principal at both schools in January 2014, his Vice-Principal at Folkestone being promoted to be Principal at Marlowe. This is not the time to look again at the problems of the Marlowe, which was opened in 2005, shortly afterwards moving into a new £30 million building, although you can find the whole sorry saga here, and in the story’s links to earlier articles. The school is now effectively destined to be closed at the end of the summer. However, OFSTED found that falling student numbers were generating very significant financial problems for the academy, the deficit now presumably to be written off on the school's closure.
The Folkestone Academy, on the other hand has been a success story since it replaced the failing Channel High School, moving into its £40 million new building in 2007.
A statement from the Trustees says: "The Executive Principal of the Folkestone and Marlowe Academies has been suspended from his duties. Relevant authorities have been informed and an investigation is in progress. As you will appreciate, we are not able to comment further on this matter. His suspension has not interfered with the good work going on in the schools, where the head teachers and their leadership teams ensure that teaching and other school activities continue as normal and that school routine is unaffected”. It is good to know that his absence will not affect the good work going on in the schools, although I am very surprised as Mr Heslop has a reputation for inspiring leadership in the two academies and at his previous school Tiffin Grammar in Kingston.
Mr Heslop joined Folkestone Academy in September 2009, after the sudden death of his predecessor, being released early from his previous position as head teacher of the Tiffin Grammar School in Kingston. Shortly before his departure the school was discovered to have serious financial difficulties, although there is no suggestion of financial irregularities in either school.