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Saturday, 21 May 2011 22:00

Another new senior appointment at Kent Education: Standards and Planning Director

Kent County Council has appointed another new senior Interim Officer,  Lorraine O'Reilly, who is to be Director of School Standards and Planning, a poisoned chalice indeed........

With over half of Kent's secondary schools already academies or somewhere on the route to transfer status, and most others surely considering applying with KCC encouragement,  it is difficult to see what influence KCC can exert over secondary school standards. I have written elsewhere of concerns over Kent's primary school standards, with too many schools failing OFSTED inspections and Key Stage Two SAT results trailing behind both national standards and Kent secondary school performance. Any pressure on primary schools is likely to see them bale out and become academies themselves.

I have also written of Kent's inability to plan secondary school places for the same reasons. Once again with primary school place planning KCC has proved inadequate to the task (as forecast by KCC itself eighteen months ago there are no vacant spaces in Tunbridge Wells primary schools - details to follow when time permits).  One can see that if primary schools are again asked to take  on additional children against their will as happened this year, they will opt out and become academies.

However, the new Interim Director is perhaps fortunate in that the KCC Members Scrutiny Committee has already started to carry out a review of Kent Primary School standards, so perhaps she can benefit from their advice.

All in all, whilst it is a further indictment against the academy structure, it's Kent children that will suffer.

Last modified on Sunday, 06 March 2016 05:56

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