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Wednesday, 07 December 2011 12:25

Marlowe Academy

The Marlowe Academy, in Ramsgate, currently a failing school, having been served with a 'Notice to Improve' by OFSTED in October, is evidently in further difficulties. Principal, Ian Johnson, left suddenly last summer, although he enjoyed a high profile as an unofficial spokesman for Academies, and had served as Acting Principal at the Spires academy in Canterbury - a matter of criticism in the Marlowe OFSTED Report because of his absence from his prime role. In May, there was a monitoring Inspection which found satisfactory progress from the 'Notice to Improve' but did not change the status. 

What was not made known at the time ............

 

was that the Academy was effectively taken over for a year by the Academies Education Trust, a large and apparently successful conglomeration of Academies stretching from Essex to the Isle of Wight, which is also currently negotiating to take over three primary schools in South Maidstone. Indeed there is no mention of this arrangement on the Marlowe website. The Trust is also charged with finding a new Principal and Vice Principal, currently being headed by an Interim Principal. 

The difficulties of the school are well known locally, and the school was just one of two non-selective schools with vacancies in September, being half empty, although it enjoys a new building, opened last year at a cost of £30,000,000. 

However, there is now a reported further OFSTED, which apparently will make grim reading when published. An article in this week's Sunday Times suggest the DfE is placing responsibility for problems with the main sponsor, philanthropist Mr Roger De Haan. He is quoted by the ST as having it suggested he should go. Mr De Haan is also chief sponsor for the Folkestone Academy. However, it is pleasing to see in a recent OFSTED monitoring Report, that TheFolkestone Academy is making good progress, following its Satisfactory Inspection in 2010. 

It has been suggested that if an Academy fails OFSTED twice, it should revert to the Local Authority, but this appears unlikely, as why should KCC take on this hot potato when it is divesting itself of most of its own secondary schools. 

As always, these political discussions fail to focus on the reason for the schools being there, the education of the children. Some of this article is also based upon comment in Guardian Online. This also contains the following chilling comment from an unnamed headteacher: "since the government announced it was raising floor targets (the minimum standard of attainment) for schools earlier this year, academy chains have been "lining up" to get business from failing schools.With higher targets, more schools are now at risk of failure. [The academy chains] are watching closely, ready to swoop in on vulnerable schools. It's like the Wild West out there". 


Last modified on Friday, 13 April 2012 22:33

1 comment

  • Comment Link Thursday, 08 December 2011 18:29 posted by cobbler

    the marlowe is failing due to dire staff appointments. too many inexperienced staff appointed to too many positions of leadership under XXXXXXXX.

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